Privacy groups have raised a number of concerns about Glass in recent months as the new technology has become available to early adopters, developers, and critics through Google's Explorer program. One of the biggest concerns is Glass' perceived potential as a tool to stealthily snap pictures and videos of people walking down the street, attending company meetings, hanging out in a bar, or simply going to the bathroom. Facial recognition is also a big fear with Glass; however, Google says it won't allow facial recognition on Glass until strong privacy protections are in place.
While Google's letter to Congress contains some lengthy responses to the privacy group's questions about Glass, Congressman Joe Barton, who co-founded the privacy caucus, says they won't suffice.
"I am disappointed in the responses we received from Google," Barton said in a statement. "There were questions that were not adequately answered and some not answered at all...Google Glass has the potential to change the way people communicate and interact...it is important that people's rights be protected and vital that privacy is built into the device."
Google's responses do come up short in a few areas. Barton and members of the Congressional privacy caucus asked, for example, what kind of device-specific information Google planned to collect from Glass. This could include hardware identification numbers, hardware model, operating system versions and so on—but Google's response to this relatively innocuous question was cagey at best.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.