Facebook warned that its new smart glasses could seriously endanger people’s privacy

The EU’s leading privacy regulator has expressed concern Facebook’s smart Ray-Ban glasses which the technology giant is now selling. The glasses have a camera that can be used to take pictures and short videos.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) said it has asked Facebook to show that the LED indicator light that lights up when a user is recording video is an effective way to let other people know that the person wearing the glasses is recording them.

The Italian association for data privacy protection, Garante Privacy, has already expressed concern about Facebook’s smart glasses, and asked DPC to investigate whether the device complies with European privacy laws. The Irish Data Privacy Commission is practically in charge of supervising Facebook because the company’s European headquarters are in Dublin.

Facebook’s Ray-Ban glasses look like a standard pair of glasses, but they have two cameras mounted on the front that allow the user to capture everything they see. The glasses come bundled with Facebook’s new app called View, which allows users to share their stories and memories with their friends and online followers. The sunglasses also have built-in speakers and microphones so the user can listen to music and receive phone calls.

The glasses have a front LED light that should turn on to show when video is being recorded. However, European regulators are concerned that what the DPC describes as a “very small” indicator is an inadequate mechanism to warn people to film.

“While it is accepted that many devices, including smartphones, can record other people, it is generally the case that the camera or phone is visible as a recording device, letting those being recorded know that they are being recorded. With the glasses there is a very small indicator light that comes on when shooting. DPC and Garante have not been shown that Facebook or Ray-Ban have conducted comprehensive field testing to ensure that the LED indicator light is an effective means of notification, ”says DPC.

The commission called on Facebook to “confirm and demonstrate that the LED indicator light is effective for its purpose and to launch an information campaign to warn the public about how this new product could lead to less obvious capture of their images.”

A Facebook spokesman said the company would work with regulators, including the Irish DPC, to help people understand “how this new technology works and what controls they have.” The company also claims to have worked with DPC before the product went on sale, and continues to do so now. It is also pointed out that the glasses contain a switch for switching off.

The Irish Commission, on the other hand, confirmed that Facebook informed it during the summer about the compliance of their new product with data protection laws, but also said that they were not consulted during product development, and that everything was already finished when the company contacted the commission.

Source: Informacija.rs by www.informacija.rs.

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