From the moment it was announced, Google Glass has been a favorite target in the growing privacy debate in our always-online and increasingly less-private society. Initially, privacy advocates were worried that Glass wearers could record others without their permission or even awareness. Now, we have to worry about the possibility that the device itself could fall victim to remote access malware, like we recently wrote about here and here. Grad students from Calforina Polytechnic have created a trojan application that purports to be a note-taking application, but instead takes photos without the wearer’s knowledge, recording images every 10 seconds while the device appears to be off, and uploading the photos via Glass’s built-in data connection to a specified destination conceivably anywhere on the internet.
What this means for you:
I’m fairly certain the students in question weren’t the first to dream up this concept, and you can bet that hackers with much more nefarious intent are impatiently waiting for the inevitable arrival and wide-spread use of wearable technology. The current, laser-hot focus of the privacy debate may be on the NSA and Ed Snowden’s disturbing revelations for the moment, but it seems the government isn’t the only one spying on us. In the words of the sage Walt Kelly (of Pogo comic strip fame), “We have met the enemy, and they are us.“