Tech World 2020

Google Glass should be banned, like drones are banned on military installations. Casinos and those concerned with film piracy should also ban it.

Any (LED) light, that comes on to say the device is recording, can easily be worked around by software, like the ban on facial recognition apps, that Google originally placed in the device. Just ban the whole thing. 

Using this head mounted display while driving should be punished like texting and driving is now. One Google Glass app, Winky, allows people to take a picture with a wink of an eye – literally.

Note that I am not against augmented reality or virtual reality gizmos, but things like Google Glass – which can masquerade as a normal object (fomite), while surreptitiously recording visual and audio of everything and everyone, in its vicinity.

At least, it’s quite obvious if someone takes a phone out to record someone or something. The Google Glass device in effect weaponizes the user, making them an agent, for whatever ideology or motivation they happen to espouse that day. And then, all the crash reports go back to Google.

Software or malware can be installed on Google Glass too, to secretly record people typing or drawing in their phone passwords – much like a key-logging malware, that captures passwords and anything typed on a computer, a nightmare for public computer rooms.

Driverless cars are a bad idea. Ban those too. Especially on military sites. Anyone could hack one. If you’re afraid of people hacking the power grid, and other cyber-attacks or cyber warfare, why make a driverless, remote-controlled car a thing? Taxi drivers should boycott any driverless cars, like they did Uber and Lyft.

I am not against technology. However, it is my knowledge of technology and forensics that leads me to respect how powerful technology is, and how it can be misused and abused. Technology can be cool; it’s humans who can’t be trusted.

Technology is a set of tools. In the right hands, a tool can be used therapeutically or medically. In the wrong hands, technology or a viral idea is a dangerous act of terrorism, or crime, waiting to happen. Anyone can see that.

Anyone with a basic working knowledge of the human condition can see which new pieces of technology have far more potential for abuse – that outweigh any of their potential benefits. That’s just good governance and policing.

Ban driverless cars and Google Glass, without a second thought, and with no regrets. It is too easy to hypothesize what an evil person could and would do with them. Police-work is about imagining what an enemy/unsub (criminal) could do with the same tool or piece of information. Preemptive strike: just ban it.

Business-owners should be able to put up a sign saying ‘no Google Glass’ and reserve the right to escort any such person off of the premises, for the potential to illegally record people, without a warrant.

I fully support public CCTV, for its role in psychologically reducing most crime. I do not support people surreptitiously recording people, without them knowing, for whatever random motivation – especially if they are not law enforcement, with a warrant. It’s not hard to imagine. And if an average person can imagine it, a criminal or a terrorist has already built it, and tested it.

There’s been technology and software/malware that can surreptitiously activate even “off” phones, and secretly broadcast microphone audio, and front and back cam phone video, since 2003. It was used in Iraq. It’s not magic. It’s science. It’s not supernatural; it’s real life.

I am not a Luddite or a technological singularity alarmist. People will be devious, even with spears and arrows. It’s not technology that people should be afraid of, but other people. “Technology” doesn’t destroy people; people destroy people. 

I am all for fast Internet and I am not a fatalist. Everything has its limits. Even good things need to be used, in moderation. Everyone has their own personal (technological) limits. It is the law’s job to corral those limits into socially acceptable boundaries, when certain technologies – Google Glass, driverless cars – have way more potential for abuse, than others.

Smart home. Internet of things. All those things can be hacked. Easily. I inherently distrust wearables. All it is, is another thing that can surreptitiously record video and audio, and a locating device. You might as well chip yourself, like a dog.

We have had microfilm since the ’50s. There are tiny cameras that can fit in pens or hollowed out books. Since at least the ’70s, you could easily wire tap a whole house. People can be recorded, without them knowing: it is public knowledge, even in commonly consumed political and intelligence pop culture fictions, like “Homeland” or “Scandal.”

Bottom line, there are some technologies more susceptible to abuse, that should be banned, limited or restricted.