I Blame Google Glass For Zero Privacy at Work & Life

Looking for an invite to Google Glass? Leave a comment below on how you will use Google Glass. I have one invite I’ll send over to one lucky reader. Note, you are responsible for the cost of Google Glass. 

Earlier last week we heard about Nick Starr who started a war with a local bar after he was asked to leave the establishment for wearing Google Glass. The story went viral mainly because of the online klout of Starr as well as the fact that Google Glass is new tech that poses some concerns from many when it comes to security, privacy and risk.

I’m one of the lucky few who owns a pair of Google Glass. The headgear is quite comfortable for the wearer. In fact, I often forget that I’m wearing Glass and am reminded by the gaping stares and pointing by those who stop me at restaurants, on the train and other public places because of Glass. It doesn’t bother the user, but it might bother you mainly because of privacy.

Google Glass is to Blame for Zero Workplace Privacy

Privacy is a growing concern for many with the increased adoption of not only Glass but cell phones that track our every movement offering apps that provide benefits Waze’s traffic alerts and Walletinni’s ticket sharing and storing services. And now with Glass, our whereabouts especially in the workplace can be recorded, uploaded and shared either through a series of tapping on my Glass frames or via voice and for all the world to see.

While there are only a few thousand Glass users at present, we’ve dealt with our share of social conundrums. And recently, Robert Scoble a noteable Glass user admitted to wearing the headgear in the public restroom. I, myself haven’t experienced any strange situations or encounters when it comes to Glass but that might be because I work from home. I have wondered how my daughter’s preschool feels when I wear Glass to drop her off.

It’s scary isn’t it. Knowing that I can shoot a video, take a photo or record our voice conversation seemingly undetected. Heck, I can live stream our entire meeting and you wouldn’t know a thing. With Google Glass, mobile devices and other wearable technology, we will never again control what is being shared about us whether it’s at work or in life. Because of Google Glass we now have zero privacy.

That’s what we have been telling ourselves with the help of our friends the media. Loosing our privacy because of Google Glass is a very new thing. Except that we’ve been living a lie. We were never in control of our own privacy. Google Glass is just the latest gadget and newest technology. Personally, I’m not buying that its the devil in disguise. It makes me more efficient, engages and effective in my every day life.

The Benefit and Curse of Wearable Technology

Since the invention of technology its been a blessing and a curse. Technology helps me share, receive and absorb information faster. In trade, that same technology provides an opportunity to be monitored with the information obtained about our lives bought, sold or shared whether it’s to our business competitors, competing countries or to advertisers desperate to reach target customers for the holiday.

The secret is that at the moment, Google Glass does nothing new your mobile smartphone and tablet can’t provide. Wearable technology about accessibility, speed and convenience that Google Glass provides. But isn’t that all technology? Yes.

I like Glass and see it’s potential. Emails are read to me and I have instant access to information and data as it becomes available. There is no longer a need to fumble to find my phone in my purse. With Glass, I can in seconds get answers and information to the questions I seek. My husband’s golf game has improved. All thanks to technology.

Glass’s headgear will only grow smaller making banning technology and tools like Glass relatively impossible at work and in life. While companies can create workplace policies banning wearable technology, it’s a lost cause. Because the future of Google Glass is a small pin sized computer and camera on your pair of Prada glasses or better yet a wearable contact that’s invisible to the naked eye. The key to your workplace use of technology like Glass is through proper communication, training and conversations with your employees. It doesn’t hurt to have a PR and emergency plan in place in the event that an unfortunate story like Starr’s or from your employees goes viral.

Looking for an invite to Google Glass? Leave a comment below on how you will use Google Glass. I have one invite I’ll send over to one lucky reader. Note, you are responsible for the cost of Google Glass. 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Steven Green says

    I spend my day thinking about and working on social software for the enterprise. Tied to your theme of privacy in the workplace, I would like to get an early lead on adapting our social tools for these new technologies – balancing potential with governance. Not an easy task.

    Also, it will solidify my geek status with my 15 year old daughter.

  2. Will Staney says

    Not sure I agree with ZERO privacy. It’s pretty obvious when you are taking a picture or video with glass. There is a sound you can’t turn off on glass and the glow of the prism is undeniable and if someone is close enough they can see exactly what you are reading/looking at/capturing….this is not the spy technology people make it out to be. After using glass for over 6 months now, I think the Glass wearers privacy is violated MUCH more than anyone as far as Google Glass is concerned. From the people who constantly invade it to try them out or ask you about it to the amount of personal data that Google is able to capture from Google Glass users. I hardly think this technology is any more of a privacy disrupter than the mobile phone in my pocket.

    • Jessica Miller-Merrell says


      I’m just saying that Google Glass isn’t the reason there is zero privacy. The only way to remain fully private is to stay at home, pay cash and completely unplug from absolutely everything. I absolutely agree with you that Google Glass isn’t any more disruptive than a mobile phone. It makes it so much easier and convenient to have it on my face but your mobile device can do the same thing.


  3. Will Staney says

    PS. If you are going to blame something for zero privacy in the workplace blame mobile technology in general….not a single technology like Google Glass. I could snap a quiet, incognito pic of anyone with my mobile device (holding it as if I am reading something on it in their direction and snapping the photo) than I ever can with Glass (Looking directly at the subject, *ding*, bright orb on my eye and all).

  4. Brit says

    Interesting perspective! I am so fascinated with emerging technologies and am always forward thinking. I currently work in Human Resources at a software company in Connecticut. I would use Google Glass as an non-intrusive tool to record or stream interviews (with candidate’s knowledge and consent) and in meetings to quickly look-up data. I would be helpful to point me in the right direction as I travel to career fairs and also at home when I attempt new recipes! 🙂

    I would also love to share Google Glass with my community and brainstorm ways it can be utilized to support STEM education and encourage other females to pursue their interest in technology.

  5. jonathan jones says

    Great article. What is most concerning to me is the products that will come after glass is matured. Google will try to do what’s best related to privacy (like sounds when pictures are taken) but lesser known, scrupulous developers will undoubtedly have devices which are much more intrusive. BTW I would love an invite to glass. I’d love to see how we can make people more aware of the energy they are using around their homes and offices.



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