back to article Oz Senator says Google Glass could 'end privacy as we know it'

Australian Senator Cory Bernardi has declared Google Glass might just be the end of privacy as we know it, because Google could use the device to conduct enable mass surveillance. Bernardi is a Liberal Senator for South Australia. Australia's Liberals are the nation's dominant right wing party and claim kinship with the UK's …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right-wing douche-nozzle

    Just wait until Captain Tony (Abbott) takes to the pitch.

    1. LarsG

      He has a point about privacy

      You might also find that Google Glasses becomes synonymous with being a pervert.

      It probably wont be long before the headlines might read, 'man found filming girls wearing GGlasses' or something far worse.

      Laws will be passed banning their use in the workplace, public areas etc.

      There will be random mob attacks on people wearing glasses because of the slightest suspicion that they are up to no good.

      Finally the Daily Mail,will campaign to ban them completely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He has a point about privacy

        Let's also not forget that the operator behind this gadget is not exactly on everyone's wishlist as "company I like to handle my privacy" - they are racking up quite a list of court cases and I know that one of their services is considered simply illegal under EU law by regulators, which may explain the massive US lobbying efforts in Brussels. It's not just about the right to forget, but you can see that they really, really want to prevent EU control over their intelligence gathering efforts.

        If Brussels compels Google and Facebook to actually follow EU law, much of this intelligence effort will go dark, and the US three letter agencies would only have Viber, iCloud, iMessage and WhatsApp left. Oh, and what Android picks up, of course. It's very quiet about Android out there, which is interesting in itself. It's infesting car navigation systems that are stupidly allowed to go live over the cellular network, it's now in tablets so it makes visible what people use it for - good effort so far. Until someone starts asking questions.

        Like me.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: He has a point about privacy

          Indeed, what's to stop Google secretly taking pictures and uploading them without your consent? After all, this is the company who went around grabbing emails and information from people's WIFI.

          1. Ian Yates
            Big Brother

            Re: He has a point about privacy

            Being caught, I think.

            The Wifi sniffing one is different in that they were recording information being leaked to their current location, while this would be a product in a consumer's hand.

            Take a look at the number of people who monitor and investigate exactly what an Android phone is doing. While they certainly could take surreptitious photos, someone would notice and the shitstorm would be epic.

            Not a reason to not be vigilant, but I think it's fairly in the tin-foil hat end of the spectrum.

      2. S4qFBxkFFg

        Re: He has a point about privacy

        Laws, mobs, etc. might well happen - but will become largely irrelevant when someone figures out how to make them look like a contact lens, instead of half a pair of glasses.

        Version 5.0 perhaps?

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      I think he's just jealous

      He'd love it if it was government controlled.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge

    "Liberals claim kinship with ....the USA's Republicans"

    But they're just not as clever as their American brethren.

  3. tkioz

    They said the same bollocks about mobile phones with cameras a decade ago... It wont matter, some people will use it for dodgy stuff, most wont, but really, who gives a toss?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite bollocks

      With a mobile phone, it is somewhat obvious if someone is recording video. But if someday Google Glasses don't make you look like an ubergeek but are almost indistinguishable from regular glasses?

      I can see a lot of teenage boys paying off a girl to wear them into a locker room and stream the video to them...that's what I'd be doing if I was 14 again :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not quite bollocks

        Krytie TV :)

      2. Jason Bloomberg

        Re: Not quite bollocks

        I can see a lot of teenage boys paying off a girl to wear them into a locker room and stream the video to them...that's what I'd be doing if I was 14 again :)

        One could do it now with miniature cameras so it's not a new threat. There are already virtually unobservable wearable cameras and those which can be hidden in pens and watches, in smoke alarms and almost anywhere. We can see how well they work when watching undercover investigations on the BBC, ITV and elsewhere. Unsurprisingly there is spycam voyeurism and porn out there now.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They said the same bollocks about mobile phones with cameras a decade ago

      And some countries (e.g. Japan) passed laws requiring mobes to make a noise when a picture was taken ... so expect a flashing light to get added to GG!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I know you guys all know what's best for mankind...

    ...but if you don't even think about these things and simply open your educated mouths to dismiss ideas, don't look my way. Queue The Armchair Gods in 3... 2... 1...

    1. Katie Saucey
      Big Brother

      Re: I know you guys all know what's best for mankind...

      Heretic! I smite thee!

  5. Rampant Spaniel

    Sometimes its tough

    To see past who is saying something and judge it on it's own merits. Theres no doubt in my mind this guy as nuttier than squirrel droppings but he does have something approaching a valid concern. Not so much about generally being filmed in public places but about private conversations or private areas and also over control of the use of footage. Especially since media companies are buying laws allowing them to use works without permission if they cannot easily locate the owner. It's a small step to personal likeness being free game.

    I don't think we should ban google glass but we need a serious discussion about how footage is used, who has access, copyright law and peoples right to avoid being filmed in certain situations.

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Sometimes its tough

      Do review the TOS for Google+ and Facebook. Once you upload imagery or video, they own the rights to it.

      That said, if G+ or FB overreach, all hell breaks loose in the media and usage of services drops for a bit.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    obviously the negative associations

    were found by doing a Google search against him.

    1. Simon_Sharwood_Reg_APAC_Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: obviously the negative associations

      I wish a Google search had been possible: Hansard's search is very comprehensive and goes back a very, very, long way, but is one of those finicky EDM-driven searches that frustrates and delivers in equal measure.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Talking Sense

    On the Google Glass thing.

    I doubt that legislation to ban them is a practical possibility - not without having the fallout that normal camera uses would also be affected.

    What the law can do is state that use of the things is only allowed if the glasses come with distinctive little flashing lights that indicate that recording is in progress.

    Whatever, I think someone wearing them amongst others who do not actively approve of them would be incredibly rude, and I would refuse to sit with or even associate with such a dickhead.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Talking Sense

      You could walk around with little office stickers. Every time you see one of these people you sticker the camera hole. Might make you unpopular, but it could be killer fun for a flashmob.

      The problem is indeed that Google is trying to circumvent with volume what laws would normally prevent - not the first time. Unless it is possible to proxy the data stream through some sort of device that rips out other data, what you basically have is the Homeview version of Streetview, right there (the first to come up with that idea were the Germans, followed by the BBC)

      And I, for one, will merrily chuck out anyone who walks into my house or office wearing one.

    2. John G Imrie

      Re: Talking Sense

      If the glasses come with distinctive little flashing lights that indicate that recording is in progress.

      Like the lights on top of a Darlek that let you know which one is talking.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Talking Sense

        It's very easy to remove the light, place something over it or just hack the code.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Talking Sense - disabling the light

          As with any surveillance device, those who are sneaky will find ways to make them unobtrusive. I accept that flaw in the suggestion.

          However, the thing that bothers me most about this is the possibility of common use just for the fun of it. in that case most of those users would probably not know how to hack the light off. They might even flash with pride, being sad techno-bastards.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Talking Sense

      You know all too well that being some sort of Linux device that any warning signal would get hacked out of the code by clever perverts.

  9. jubtastic1

    Every breath you take

    A world where headmounted video recording is commonplace is a world without privacy, that the idea is being pitched by a company whose revenue depends upon user profiling should be setting off fucking loud klaxons.

    Surely this ground has already been covered by Star Trek or Doctor Who?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    But it's true......

    This man is as true as his dead imaginary friend in low earth orbit...

    "Bernardi is on his party's right wing, probably its extreme end. How extreme? In 2012 he was demoted for suggesting polygamy and even bestiality could be the consequences of legalising gay marriage.

    If you doubt us, head to page 7245 of Hansard (PDF) from September 18th, 2012, when Bernardi said the following:"

    "If we are prepared to redefine marriage so that it suits the latest criterion that two people who love each other should be able to get married irrespective of their gender and/or if they are in a sexual relationship, then what is the next step? The next step, quite frankly, is having three people or four people that love each other being able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society—or any other type of relationship.”

    Well if we remove the word "porn" and substitute words like SEX and We the Monkeys...

    It's TRUE.... 3 or 4 people that do love each other, and who are in permanent unions, is in fact perfectly normal... The mistress, the boyfriend, some cuckolding, the work affairs, etc., etc., etc.

    If our parents had not of gone screwing around, most of use would have about 50% less siblings...

    He then went on to utter these words:

    "There are even some creepy people out there—and I say 'creepy' deliberately—who are unfortunately afforded a great deal more respect than I believe they deserve. These creepy people say it is okay to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step? In the future will we say, 'These two creatures love each other and maybe they should be able to be joined in a union.'"

    Well I had a hetrosexual christian marriage.. and then she read the bible... and that gave her ideas, and you see we had this donkey....

    1. ian 22

      Re: But it's true......

      Me and my monkey want and need our privacy....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google ShoeUp

    The Google Glass equivalent for your shoe, the up-skirters kit of choice.

  12. Crisp

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

    Run for the hills Cory Bernardi! We're all doomed!

  13. Anonymous Coward 15

    You've got to admit some of the technology involved is pretty interesting though?

  14. reno79

    I love the fact that everyone is up in arms over this because it's made by Google, when there are dozens of wearable, totally inconspicuous video recording technologies already available for the same price as a budget smartphone. No-one seems to have complained about them before.

    1. Grikath

      And depending on your locale, that kind of kit is illegal to own and/or operate. There's plenty of laws already regarding spy/surveillance kit, and EU-wise GG trips quite a few of them.

      The technology may be here, but as they are the things would most likely be illegal for actual use in public here in the Netherlands.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Its not the technology to capture imagery that's the primary concern, its who is doing what with it. An individual can do a certain amount of harm, a massive corporation to do a hell of a lot more, especially one that's been earning itself a reputation for a high handed approach to personal information and privacy over the last few years.

  15. cortland
    Paris Hilton

    Well but so

    Well, but so are cellphone's an instrument of surveillance; ANYONE might rat on you. Honest crook can't do *anything* anymore where folks can see...

    Look now, there's this crazy Senator saying we have to do WHAT?

    At least we have Paris.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Retarded bigot owns iPhone to post to facebook shocker.

    Anything else wrong with this waste of DNA?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I SAY... LETS...

    first develop it to shoot deadly laser beam with high accuracy

    put these on sharks in a shark tank, train a bit

    and throw the bankers all in.


  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The lucky country...

    Not any more apparently. Mick Dundee's been put out to grass and replaced as the national mascot by the genetically altered offspring of Col. Oliver North and the Pope, presumably conceived somewhere in the basement of Fox News. Fair go for unleashing the Dirty Digger on the rest of us.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One can dream

    of a world in which GG come with a harddrive attached (We can surely find a way to power it) on which to store video.

    It rids us of the possibility of Google logging every single thing ever done anywhere near a pair of GG - sadly it also rids us of the possibility of Google ever producing GG.

    One side note: "GG could end privacy as we know it" - NO! Legislators could end privacy as we know it, by allowing GG to function as they are intended by Google. (You might wish to continue the chain - Lobbyist could... Legislators who fall prey to lobbyists could... Users who don't care could... - But since users are dumb, lobbyists are shady and not actually legislators, it falls back to legislators in the end).

  20. earl grey

    Dear Mr. Creepy:

    I hate to be the one to have to tell you, but people ARE animals and they do ANIMAL things with each other (vs being vegetables or minerals; although a number fit those categories once planted).

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: Dear Mr. Creepy:

      Like they do on the Discovery Channel?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With animals?

    If you need me, I'll be in my lab.

    Woof woof.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: With animals?

      He also warned about a polygamy attack on the marriage act. Just last week I saw a Greens party communication trying to get polygamy (polyamoury used to confuse the uneducated masses) legalised as a perfectly natural form of relationship that should be recognised under the marriage act. Not much left after that but to add in animals to the act.

  22. Maty

    A force for good?

    The thing about mobile phones that no-one expected was subvelliance.

    Cops found that it was not so easy to break the law with members of the public photographing them, which was why they hurried to make photographing policemen on duty illegal.

    With these glasses, every policeman who roughs up a member of the public, every councilman who fishes for a bribe, every sanctimonious politician who leaves a brothel will never know when their misdeeds will go on the record.

    THEY have devices in place that make Bentham's panopticon look childish. We need something to watch them right back. However, like the camera phones, the authorities probably won't stand for it - they'll take the tech for themselves. If google glasses do become illegal you can bet an exemption will be given to 'responsible government agencies.'

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What he clearly said, as shown by your quote, is that

    Gay Marriage Certification may lead to Beastial Marriage Certification

    Somehow, somebody here has slurred that into Gay Marriage may lead to Beastiality.

    For anyone too stupid, biased, and filled with hate to see the difference, let me point out that if "Gay Marriage" was the same as "Gay Sex" then the whole debate about "Gay Marriage" would be empty.

    Anonymous, because if expressing opinons about marriage certification leads to this kind of leader, I'll want to flee the country before I'm rounded up into a concentration camp.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Witchburner

      And your point is ...?

    2. Flat Phillip
      Thumb Up

      Re: Witchburner

      That's an important difference. Married people don't have sex, so if you let people marry their friendly goats or whatever the amount of bestiality would be reduced not increased, so everyone wins (including, I guess the goats)

  24. M7S
    Big Brother

    Self surveillance

    At what point will sombody judge that having a set of these and NOT wearing them at some time (other than perhaps in bed) constitutes suspicious behaviour?

  25. Steven Roper

    Good grief!

    Fully half of the article is nothing more than an ad-hominem attack on Bernardi for being opposed to gay marriage. Quite what this has to do with Google Glass being an invasion of privacy, or the validity of Bernardi's arguments thereto, I fail to see. Unless the author is a PC bigot who thinks that because Bernardi is against gay marriage, all his opinions about anything else are equally invalid.

    Now I support gay marriage absolutely, in keeping with my belief in freedom of choice and minding one's own business. And I think Bernardi is a dickhead for wanting to reach into people's lives and say who can get married or not; it's none of his damn business. But that doesn't invalidate his knowledge or values or opinions on any other subject. It certainly has nothing at all to do with Google Glass and its privacy implications.

    The reason I despise political correctness and it's wailing supporters is precisely because of the kind of vicious ad-hominem smear tactics used by the author of this article. "He's racist/sexist/homophobic/un-PC, therefore his opinions on everything else are irrelevant, because he's not 'civilised' or 'enlightened'" (or whatever buzzword has been appropriated by the PC do-gooders to justify their sanctimonious worldview this month.) It is these same tactics that have filled our workplaces with fear, that if you dare express any un-PC opinion, or look at someone the wrong way, or offend anyone for any reason, you can possibly lose your job and your life could be ruined, regardless of how competent or valuable you may be.

    I'd have expected more from Murdoch's media empire than this. To see it in the pages of El Reg is nothing short of disgusting.

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