A recent poll found that a large majority of Americans are not interested in adopting Google Glass into their everyday lives – not because of price or availability, but privacy.
Market research firm Toluna found that 72 percent of Americans described privacy concerns as their biggest reason for rejecting Google’s headline-grabbing wearable tech, which still has yet to even be released on the mass market.
Of the 1,000 individuals polled, most were concerned with hackers stealing and exposing personal data used by Glass, especially real-time location. Second on the list was concern over its potential to distract, and the third was muggers targeting individuals wearing the expensive tech.
“Google Glass is not yet available on the open market, although it is clear that a high proportion of individuals have concerns about the potential impact on their privacy,” North American managing director for Toluna Mark Simon told Adweek. “This is something Google and other tech companies using the technology should address before the product can become mainstream.”
Even with a relatively small number of trial-group Google Glass units in circulation, the large majority of media coverage has not painted the tech in a very flattering light, with users becoming targets of public backlash and even law enforcement.
Coupled with the large percentage of negative press is the fact that not very much is known within the public sphere about Glass’ capabilities or vulnerabilities, fueling the speculation of an already data-privacy skeptical crowd jaded from almost a year of leaks detailing bulk National Security Agency surveillance programs.
Even lawmakers on Capitol Hill have been expressing concern ahead of the device’s public launch. Eight members of Congress sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page last May asking him to answer specific questions about Glass’ potential privacy implications, including surveillance, data collection and storage.
Google has since been on a non-stop campaign in defense of the product, repeatedly trying to persuade the public that data is safe on Glass, and that software like facial recognition will be carefully integrated with privacy in mind.
Facial-recognition software has been demonstrated to be extremely accurate, and has already been developed for Glass.