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New Australian Privacy Laws Could Have Ramifications On Google Glass

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the glass-half-empty dept.

Google 128

An anonymous reader writes "Recording private conversations or activities using Google's Glass eyewear or similar wearable technologies without consent could become illegal under a push to overhaul Australian state and federal privacy laws. From the article: 'The Australian Law Reform Commission discussion paper, released on Monday morning, recommended 47 legislative changes aimed at updating existing privacy laws for the digital age. It proposed the government introduce a statutory cause of action for a serious invasion of one’s privacy, in what would be the first time a person’s privacy has legally been protected in Australia. It also recommended harmonising rules for using technology to monitor and record authors, which are currently legislated by state governments, to deal with the implications of new technologies such as wearable devices and drones.'"

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Information is not for you (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 months ago | (#46618779)

Information is for the state. You will not record and share among yourselves. You will not become more aware.

You will not develop the capacity to police yourselves. That is for the state.

Re:Information is not for you (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46618803)

Hardly a horrible statist intrusion to prevent people from secretly recording private conversations. That seems like common sense to me.

Re:Information is not for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46618831)

" to prevent people from secretly recording private conversations" Yeah? How. With a law? pfft.

Re:Information is not for you (-1, Flamebait)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46618927)

Just make it legal to punch the asshole and crush that recording device under my boot and it will policy itself.

Re: Information is not for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619205)

"glasshole".

there, FTFY

Re:Information is not for you (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 7 months ago | (#46619649)

Your username is a fine one-word explanation as to why this suggestion is stupid.

Don't like someone? Go ahead and punch them out, just be sure to drop a Google Glass beside them.

Re:Information is not for you (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 7 months ago | (#46620655)

And yours is a good example of shortsighted snark. $1500 to try to punch someone for an apparatus that *you* signed the sales receipt for? It won't work out like you dream it will.

Re:Information is not for you (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 7 months ago | (#46621865)

You're right, I was wrong to say it would enable everyone to punch whoever they please. If you'll allow me another attempt:

It would enable the wealthy to punch whoever they please.

Better? (This of course ignoring the wider fact that civilized societies do not profit by normalising violence.)

Re:Information is not for you (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#46619091)

I would think a law banning a specific use is better thsn a ban on the devices or technology.

It is very dificult to force someone to behave other than they already would without a penalty of some sort. You getting mad won't do it for me. You getting violent will likely fail and result in the episode being all over the net or as the star witnesd at your trial. A law on the other hand would either deter me, stop me from making it public, or make it the star witness at my trial.

So how would you like to see it implemented?

Is compensation really a ban at all? (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 7 months ago | (#46619481)

From TFA:

Under the proposal, courts would be able to compensate victims, but the ALRC said it would not propose penalties for offenders.

It doesn't seem clear that they are proposing much of a ban on anything, really. This looks like more of a compensation scheme if someone does infringe on your privacy in this kind of way and you then suffer some significant, financially quantifiable harm from it.

I would argue that many/most infringements on privacy (or the chilling effect that comes from the threat of having your privacy infringed) are not so easily quantifiable, that the law in many places has little meaningful recognition of non-financial damage, and that some behaviours can't be fixed by compensation after the fact anyway. It doesn't look like they're going as far as addressing these issues so far, though.

Re:Is compensation really a ban at all? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46619997)

It doesn't seem clear that they are proposing much of a ban on anything, really. This looks like more of a compensation scheme if someone does infringe on your privacy in this kind of way and you then suffer some significant, financially quantifiable harm from it.

Well, of course the state aren't going to underwrite the compensation. So paying the compensation is the punishment. Much like libel.

Re:Is compensation really a ban at all? (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about 7 months ago | (#46620675)

So paying the compensation is the punishment. Much like libel.

Right. But doesn't that give us the same problem as with libel? That is, the law works on a "no harm, no foul" basis, but it only considers monetary or otherwise quantifiable losses to be harm. With both privacy and defamation, the nastiest consequences of the antisocial behaviour often have nothing to do with money at all. If we're limiting the scope of the debate to possible civil actions and compensation measured by financial losses, I think we're missing the point of why privacy matters. That said, personally I'm very happy to see any move to take privacy more seriously at a political level.

Re:Information is not for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619755)

That depends on which conversations can be twisted into being "private".

Re:Information is not for you (1)

rvw (755107) | about 7 months ago | (#46619073)

Information is for the state. You will not record and share among yourselves. You will not become more aware.

You will not develop the capacity to police yourselves. That is for the state.

The funny thing is that these devices only make it easier for the state to record what you do. So preventing that is a good thing. It makes them a bit less powerful.

Re:Information is not for you (2)

StripedCow (776465) | about 7 months ago | (#46619393)

But are we still allowed to shoot movies of police officers?

Re:Information is not for you (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46620039)

It's framed as invasion of privacy. So a police officer or the police force would have to prove you invaded an officer's privacy. Which you might do if you filmed him at home, or whilst going to the toilet for example. Or even during a lunch break.

But it would be hard to make a case that filming a police officer whilst exercising his police powers would be an invasion of privacy.

(They might try that of course, but any reasonable justice system shouldn't accept it.)

Re:Information is not for you (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 months ago | (#46619279)

You will not develop the capacity to police yourselves. That is for the state.

We developed the capacity to police ourselves a long time ago, the tool we use for that is called the rule of law, it's enforced by courts and (wait for it...) the police. If you have a better idea I assure you I and many others are all ears [azlyrics.com] , but the naïve notion that people will nice to each other if "government just gets out of the way" was disproven with every one of the thousands of hippie communes that started and failed in my youth during the late 60's early seventies. It was said to be the largest US internal migration since the civil war, most communes lasted less than two years the main problem being that since politics was taboo, verbal and physical bullying won the day and the group disintegrated, often leaving the bully with a nice piece of real estate and the "quitters" with nothing.

I find it ironic (and endlessly amusing [youtube.com] ) that the flower power people and the hard core libertarians suffer from the same naïve delusion that people will nice to each other if "government just gets out of the way". Anthropology [cracked.com] and even the most tenuous grasp of history says that given the opportunity [prisonexp.org] we won't "just all get along". Without enforceable laws (democratic or otherwise) society would simply not exist beyond the basic extended family tribe, almost by definition "civilization" would be impossible.

Throwing out "the state" is the easy bit, the real problem has always been and will always be - then what, Napoleon, Mugabe? - We already know anarchy does not work, if it did we wouldn't be "trapped" within our respective democratic nation sates at this point in our evolution, right?

Re:Information is not for you (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 7 months ago | (#46619399)

even the most tenuous grasp of history says that given the opportunity [prisonexp.org] we won't "just all get along".

I wonder what would happen if the experiment got repeated with, say, schizoids, or other population groups distinctly different in interpersonal interaction patterns. Being a schizoid myself, I find the events of the experiment only slightly more puzzling than many other events happening in the society at large. But then again, my hope for more "self-policing" society relies on the notion of humanity getting replaced by more rational sentient beings such as possible future machines.

Re:Information is not for you (2)

Sabriel (134364) | about 7 months ago | (#46619545)

Why did you interpret the GP as objecting to the rule of law? I interpreted the GP as objecting to the rule of tyranny.

Here's my "better idea": instead of making it illegal to record the second party without their consent, make it illegal to volunteer the recording to a third party.

Because that's what we're _really_ objecting to, isn't it? I mean, every human on earth already carries a device that records everything they see and hear for later review anyway. Does it truly matter whether they have another? And what are you going to do when medical technology reaches the point where that existing device (1) can be patched to give everyone's device the same eidetic capability that an existing percentage of the population already has and (2) can be downloaded?

Re:Information is not for you (1)

Sabriel (134364) | about 7 months ago | (#46619553)

edit: to "make it illegal to volunteer the recording to a third party" append "without the second party's consent".

Re:Information is not for you (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 months ago | (#46620815)

Yep, the devil is in the details and when I look at things like the (democratically mandated) gulags my government is running for "boat people", this issue amounts to naught but a trivial distraction.

I mean, every human on earth already carries a device that records everything they see and hear for later review anyway.

I'm in my 50's, I haven't owned a mobile phone for well over 5yrs now, does that mean I'm not human? Wasn't deliberate, the old phone died and I simply said to myself I will get another one when I figure out why I wanted one in the first place...

Re:Information is not for you (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | about 7 months ago | (#46621509)

Sabriel wasn't talking about mobile phones. He was alluding to the organic recording device located inside your skull.

You can be sure that I can police FOR myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619695)

Just ask the last glasshole who happened to stare at me. He's still crying for that. Literally.

Re:You can be sure that I can police FOR myself (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 months ago | (#46623413)

Just ask the last glasshole who happened to stare at me. He's still crying for that. Literally.

Man, I'd LOVE to meet you with a set of Google Glasses on. There's something very satisfying about publicly beating the shit out of someone and then proceeding to put them in jail as well.

"monitor and record authors"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46618785)

"monitor and record authors"? So I have to write a book to get privacy protections?

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46618809)

So they're going to stop using CCTV cameras in public places?

Yeah, didn't think so.

Serialization of Memory (0)

yathaid (2106468) | about 7 months ago | (#46618855)

Google Glass is just going to be seen as a crude precursor when some day in the future, we can serialize and deserialize memories. What will be the objections then?

Re:Serialization of Memory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46618989)

Socializing and seeing people is the destruction of privacy! Won't someone think of the children?

Re:Serialization of Memory (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46620253)

See "Black Mirror" S01E03 "The Entire History of You".

Cognitive Science will fix this problem (0)

ranton (36917) | about 7 months ago | (#46618865)

Eventually we will get to the point where we just record our experiences without the need of cameras. I doubt this is even 50 years away. Society will have to get used to a post-privacy world eventually. Simple devices such as the Google Glass seem to be as good a start as any.

Re:Cognitive Science will fix this problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46618909)

If that happened we'd have accountability, therefore it wont happen. EVER.

Re:Cognitive Science will fix this problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46618911)

Society will have to get used to a post-privacy world eventually.

Society will have to get used to murder and tyranny eventually. A post-privacy world is a world where the government can do as it pleases, regardless of whether people like it or not.

Re:Cognitive Science will fix this problem (1)

ranton (36917) | about 7 months ago | (#46621251)

Society will have to get used to a post-privacy world eventually.

Society will have to get used to murder and tyranny eventually. A post-privacy world is a world where the government can do as it pleases, regardless of whether people like it or not.

Then we need to start figuring out if there are ways to preserve liberty without privacy, because pretending that most public interactions will not be recorded in the near future is silly. The technology will be there, and it will be too powerful for governments to just outlaw (and as you insinuate they have little incentive to even try). I would rather us not just stick our head in the sand and actually start to evolve as a society. Our civilization changed from small close knit communities where there was very little true privacy to a globalized community where anonymity is easy to attain. I don't find it hard to believe that we can weather the storm of returning to a limited-privacy world again without reverting to tyranny.

not private (4, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#46618897)

Google Glass only records from a first person point of view, and is less sensitive than normal human eyes or ears. So, pretty much by definition, if it can be recorded by Google Glass, it isn't private: the person doing the recording needs to be visibly present to record the information.

What such laws are really primarily aimed at are to protect government officials, politicians, and the rich and famous from having their wrongdoings documented.

Re:not private (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 months ago | (#46618941)

Not necessarily. We already have a similar law in place. It's illegal to videotape you, make pictures of you or record you in any other way unless you give prior consent, unless you are a "person of public interest", i.e. a celebrity, a politician or similar.

Re:not private (1)

Technomancer (51963) | about 7 months ago | (#46619027)

Huh, where? I think there was some retarded law like this passed in Hungary or something recently.
In most countries you can take photos of pretty much anything in the public. The only limitations are usually for commercial use of a photo of a person.
And for that celebrities and politicians have both more and less protections, since they tend to be fair game for quite invasive "press" photos but any attempt to use their image to promote products and services will result in much bigger damages than for Joe Random person.

As for prior consent. Go out to a street in your city, now ask everyone you see for consent to take your typical tourist photo. See the problem? It is unworkable.

Re:not private (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 7 months ago | (#46619095)

Not commercial, any use is restricted! I believe you won't like it if I take a photo of you and publish it in an inappropriate context on facebook, e.g

Re:not private (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619357)

If you take photos in the city street of individuals and publish them for a commercial use then yes in many countries you really ARE required to get consent of everyone in the photo. We had to do this for an TV Ad we were doing in Australia. This law only pertains to publications though, if you are doing such public photography and recording for private use only the laws do not apply.

Re:not private (2)

beaverdownunder (1822050) | about 7 months ago | (#46619401)

The exception here is if it's an event, or if the individual is behaving in such a way where they are making a spectacle out of themselves. Then, there's an expectation that you might be filmed if you're participating, and you don't have the right to demand your likeness not be published / broadcast.

However, just walking down the street doesn't qualify, and that's where Google Glass gets into trouble since most states expect that if you do take a picture of someone who isn't aware they're being photographed, and don't get their permission, you must obscure or discard their likeness, and essentially ignore their existence (for example, not look them up on-line). Obviously Google Glass is far less useful if it suffers from legally obligatory amnesia.

Re:not private (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#46619195)

We already have a similar law in place. It's illegal to videotape you, make pictures of you or record you in any other way unless you give prior consent

And you live where? North Korea?

Re:not private (3, Informative)

Truth_Quark (219407) | about 7 months ago | (#46619275)

Not necessarily. We already have a similar law in place. It's illegal to videotape you, make pictures of you or record you in any other way unless you give prior consent, unless you are a "person of public interest", i.e. a celebrity, a politician or similar.

Not in Australia.

You are able to make any recording of anyone so long as you do it from public property with a very few particular exceptions.

  • You need to obtain consent to use it for commercial purpose
  • You need to obtain consent if the person is undressed or engaged in a private act, and they're in circumstances where a reasonable person would reasonably expect to be afforded privacy, and you're taking the photo for sexual gratification
  • You can't take an indecent photograph of someone under 16. (That's with or without consent, and unlike the two above, this one is criminal).

There's laws against workplace surveillance by employers, and there are laws against peeping and against being a public nuisance, which means interfering with someone else's enjoyment of a public place, but broadly speaking, if you can see it, you can photograph it.

Re:not private (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46619523)

Not in most EU countries or the USA/Canada. It is legal as all get out to film/photograph you on public streets without your consent.

Oh here is another kicker, if I can see you from a public place I can film/photograph you, yes if you are in your back yard on your private property, if I can see you from public property, I can take photos and film you all I want.

Another fun one, I can take photos from an airplane of you as well. so that high fence around your patio is not in my way.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619673)

I'm afraid that you aren't going to be a lawyer anytime soon. Basically everything you said is just ridiculously wrong, at least in the EU, where I live. You cannot record anybody, either in video or audio, without his/her explicit consent, unless he/she is a public person, hence newsworthy (celebrities, politicians, etc...). And no, there's no legal equivalence between "being able to see" and "being allowed to record": no court has ever stated such a silly thing.

There are hundreds of lawsuits and even criminal cases for this reasons, especially in Germany, Italy and France.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46620045)

I'm afraid neither will you. Your hundreds of lawsuits crap isn't worth the time you spent writing it. To my knowledge, almost everywhere in the europe it is allowed to record video, take pictures etc. without asking in public places for your private use. It is not allowed to film inside of someones home even if you are in public. I guess your country does not like tourists. Sounds pretty fassist to me.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46620781)

Firstly, I AM a lawyer. Secondly, no, it's not allowed: you just can't record someone else without his/her permission. Nowhere in the EU, and afaik not even in the US, unless it's somehow newsworthy (celebrities, politicians, etc...) or if it is, for example, a confused image of a crowd, with no one easily recognizable. Thirdly, tourists are supposed to take pictures of monuments, natural areas and buildings, not people. Fourthly, in several european jurisdictions illegal recording is even a criminal offense, without the need of a lawsuit for an inquiry to be started.

Finally, you cannot even spell your own language correctly, hopefully you'll at least avoid talking about foreign law.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46620943)

Firstly, I AM a lawyer.

I'm an astronaut!

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46621131)

Good for you. And if you record someone in the EU without permission, whether with google glasses or an old style camera, you might easily get sued. There's no exception for astronauts.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46623859)

Well that's cause english is not my language. I live in a country in the EU area and i sure as hell can take pictures in public without asking permission for private use. So how are tourists going to take pictures of something that requires them being far away from the object with possible people in between? Since you are a laywer, maybe should dig up some actual laws.

Re:not private (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#46620251)

Not necessarily. We already have a similar law in place. It's illegal to videotape you, make pictures of you or record you in any other way unless you give prior consent, unless you are a "person of public interest", i.e. a celebrity, a politician or similar.

Man, I bet the lobbyists for your security camera businesses are outraged. Oh, wait, that's right...

Re:not private (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about 7 months ago | (#46620769)

That is not the case in Canada or in the US. In fact, in most jurisdictions in these two countries it completely legal to record anything that occurs in a place. There are some exceptions, but for the most part it is legal for you to record anything that you want.

Re:not private (1)

ebusinessmedia1 (561777) | about 7 months ago | (#46618975)

What needs to happen is that a VERY bright red light needs to be activated when Google Glass is recording. The light needs to be visible across a room.

Re:not private (1)

Agent ME (1411269) | about 7 months ago | (#46618993)

Should we legislate for people's eyes to cast bright lights too while they're seeing?

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619071)

Do you really not see the difference between someone's eyes seeing something and a camera that can store video data for anyone who wants to look at the footage seeing something? The brain isn't nearly as good at recalling information, and other people wouldn't have a video to view.

Re:not private (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 7 months ago | (#46620989)

Do you really not see the difference between someone's eyes seeing something and a camera that can store video data for anyone who wants to look at the footage seeing something? The brain isn't nearly as good at recalling information, and other people wouldn't have a video to view.

The camera protects the rest of us from the confusion that arises when one of those people lies about what happened, but if it's just their eyes, liars can have a field day confusing us with he said she said bullshit and get away with murder?

All you are attempting to protect is the freedom to betray and hurt others, lie, and get away with it. There's no other rational reason to oppose this type of technology.

Re:not private (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about 7 months ago | (#46619075)

Let me know when poeple's eyes can play back things they have seen. With the exception of an high functioning savant with a knack for drawing sceneries, most of us cant do this.

Re:not private (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 7 months ago | (#46619125)

I see the last moments of my victims every time I close my eyes. Keeps me warm at night.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619277)

http://news.yale.edu/2014/03/25/yale-researchers-reconstruct-facial-images-locked-viewer-s-mind

Re:not private (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 7 months ago | (#46619151)

Perception versus recording. It's a huge difference.

Re:not private (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 7 months ago | (#46619405)

But it can be legislated for people sitting in a classroom...

Re:not private (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 7 months ago | (#46619499)

its not the recording that people typically object to - its the replay.

The people using Google Glass aren't exactly journalists trying to record everything that will be discarded unless its actually newsworthy, they'll be 'hipsters' recording what they can to post to Youtube in the hope that it'll go viral/trend and make themselves a ton of advertising cash.

If google changed its policies that the subject of a video was the one receiving ad revenue for posted videos, I think there would be a lot less glass wearing, or a lot more people agreeing to be videoed.

Re:not private (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46619987)

Only when their memories can be uploaded to the internet.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619059)

I think it needs to be a laser.

Re: not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619301)

Only when they're looking into a mirror.

Re:not private (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 months ago | (#46619115)

Yes. Then we can ban electtical tape, markers, paint, and anything else that can be used to conceal that bright led light.

Of course people would need to know what that bright red light is. I think a series of prime time commercials explaining the concept of the idiots with bright red lights mean should ensue so everyone knows when they are being watched.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619419)

But how are we to know someone has not simply disabled the lights. I am generally against using laws to govern everything we do, but the current trend in stuff like googleglass really does need some legislation to ensure true glassholes are punished for obnoxious or privacy invading behaviour. there will always be those who will only behave well when they are legally obligated to do so, even then you will still see abuses.

Re:not private (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46619513)

Why stop there, can't we also add a 190db horn that fires every 15 seconds?

Re:not private (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46620231)

What needs to happen is that a VERY bright red light needs to be activated when Google Glass is recording.

How about making it in the form of a laser, pointing directly into the wearer's retina.

Re:not private (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | about 7 months ago | (#46619127)

Google Glass only records from a first person point of view, and is less sensitive than normal human eyes or ears. So, pretty much by definition, if it can be recorded by Google Glass, it isn't private: the person doing the recording needs to be visibly present to record the information.

Australia is considerably more laid back about public recordings. Currently laws cover publication/syndication rather than recordings. So you can within reason record things in public (including the police) but publishing them without consent is another thing. For example, if I were pulled over and recorded a conversation with a police officer on my dashcam (which is in plain sight) that could be used as evidence to defend myself in court thats fine, but If I publish that video on YouTube, I've done wrong.

Laws on recording private conversations vary from state to state but many police forces in Australia have commented that they don't mind being recorded in public.

But the article is a fluff piece from the AFR (Fairfax media) and the laws haven't be implemented or passed by parliament. In fact they haven't even been introduced into parliament. They're just a proposal from a commission that boils down to nothing more than political grandstanding. It's been a slow news day since Fairfax supports the current government and can only report on the good things they've done.... It's been a slow news day for them since the Abbott government was elected.

Re:not private (2)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 7 months ago | (#46619387)

I'm sure people would disagree with you that standing at a urinal in a public toilet should still be considered "private", and what you do there should not be able to be recorded by the person stood next to you and replayed for their enjoyment.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46623463)

Civilized countries have partitions between urinals. And why would I care? Modesty is a virtue for the person being modest, not the observer. I've done my job by only exposing myself at the urinal. If it turns you on and you must have a look, go ahead. Publishing those pictures is already against the law.

My 2 cents. (1)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about 7 months ago | (#46619573)

Fuck you.

Recording (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46619979)

The key word here is "recording". Something recorded is less private than something ephemerally witnessed by another person.

Re:Recording (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#46623655)

No, it isn't, that's the point. Privacy is about the separation of an act from the public sphere, not how that act is observed. People who want to outlaw the recording of public acts misappropriate the term "privacy" in order to mislead people push through their agenda.

Laws like this are trying to limit certain forms of public photography and public recording; they have nothing to do with privacy. If you want to limit public recording, make an argument for that, don't destroy the meaning of the word "privacy".

Once the line is blurred, things go downhill further. Laws like this don't prohibit government or corporate surveillance cameras, because they are either in public or on land owned by the owner of the camera. Once you change the meaning of "privacy" to include public spaces, you have established the principle that violating people's privacy is OK, and that surveillance can extend to other private areas.

Right to be forgotten (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46620019)

The resolution of Google Glass's recording isn't the problem, rather it is that actions recorded by it are not forgotten.

And funnily enough, Europe has recognised that not being able to be forgotten is also a privacy risk.

So whilst everyone MIGHT be able to record when I go for coffee and walk down the street talking to my co-workers, the reality is that it ISN'T and that whilst in public there is also a certain amount of privacy involved as the area is busy both visually and aurally, making it hard for someone to casually record what I do (by memorising my actions) or say.

Google Glass and similar devices take that privacy away from me and everyone else on the street.

Google Glass (and similar) need to go in the same box as beta.slashdot: the bit bucket from hell and never return.

Oh, there's one exception to that: an owner of Google Glass should always have their device turned on and functioning when dealing with police and any other representatives of law enforcement.

Re:not private (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46620065)

What enlightened land do you live in where it's legal to record everything you see, even in public places? Not on this planet. Depending on what happens to cross your visual field, it could be a serious felony.

Re:not private (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46620215)

Google Glass only records from a first person point of view, and is less sensitive than normal human eyes or ears. So, pretty much by definition, if it can be recorded by Google Glass, it isn't private: the person doing the recording needs to be visibly present to record the information.

"Private" doesn't mean "alone". And until there is the technology to directly transfer remembered images from one brain to another, "recording" is different than "seeing".

Re:not private (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#46623377)

"Private" doesn't mean "alone".

Indeed, it means "private". If you have a threesome, it's private, although you're not alone. In that case, if one of your partners is wearing Google Glass, that's between you three to work out. The case we're talking about here is where strangers record you. Whatever a stranger can see in a generally accessible place is, by definition, not "private".

ALRC has no power (1)

Harlequin80 (1671040) | about 7 months ago | (#46618925)

While they are a Government body the Australian Law Reform Commission is almost completely powerless. They are "commissioned" by the government in power to look at a particular concept and they then report back. In this case the previous Labor government commissioned them to look into "What can we do to protect people's privacy!?!?!?!?" this was political grandstanding at the time and given each state is the one that determines the rules when it comes to privacy has absolutely no chance of being rolled out.

For example it is legal to record a telephone call you are involved in, without telling the other person, in Queensland. But it's not if you are in NSW. NSW has the tightest privacy laws so basing their study on them is logical from that perspective but also means the starting point for every other state is further along than the article would make it appear.

And Hungary's new law won't (have ramifications)? (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 7 months ago | (#46618947)

Hungary law requires photographers to ask permission to take pictures.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org]

Just saying one is going to need to read up on local legalities if/when they visit a foreign country; disabling the appropriate Google glass feature as required.

Check out Istanbul Turkey on Google Earth, many areas are like this (almost blacked out). Google glasses on the ground in that area could cause the wearer problems.

Re:And Hungary's new law won't (have ramifications (1)

SpannerX (989422) | about 7 months ago | (#46619563)

France does something similar, has for a while: http://photothisandthat.co.uk/... [photothisandthat.co.uk]

I hate wogs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619089)

I hate wogs. And I hate them allot.

But its ok to be a racist. (1)

bug1 (96678) | about 7 months ago | (#46619107)

In other news in Australia our Attorney General is defending free speech, in particular the right to express racist views.

So if you record someone being a racist in a public place, the racist calls the cops and get the witness to racism put in jail.

(2 and half more years of these conservative loonatics)

http://www.news.com.au/nationa... [news.com.au]

Re:But its ok to be a racist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619369)

In other news in Australia our Attorney General is defending free speech, in particular the right to express racist views.

Good for him. Racism is dumb but it shouldn't be illegal just to say racist things.

Re:But its ok to be a racist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619433)

Call racism dumb or whatevernot, however the things that are done "against racism", or the progressive changing of USA into a country run by blacks, it not better either.

Re:But its ok to be a racist. (1)

KeensMustard (655606) | about 7 months ago | (#46619975)

I'm not entirely convinced that there is a legitimate case for allowing injurious speech on the basis of race, anymore than libel - if you say something which is incorrect in law, and you injure someone by saying it, then you are liable and should compensate that person or persons.

It seems strange that we would make an exemption for race.

In the case in question the person charged (and convicted) had referred to indigeneous australians of mixed race in an injurious fashion and it was found to be not factual. If he had alleged that they had stolen money (when they hadn't), then - what's the difference?

In any case, whilst we might not want to send the police after schoolboy sniggering, or drunken rants against asians, or whatever, there is always going to be a limit, and the current limits, without making eveyr case of racism a matter of law, certainly dealt with some serious cases where a legal response was appropriate.

I just don't see what benefit we gain by legitimising assault based on narrowly defined parameters, just becuase some person who was a prominent supporter of the current regime in power turns out to be a racist throwback with ideas out of 1960's South Africa. "Mixed Blood" indeed.

Re:But its ok to be a racist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46620043)

That's the thing about free speech, it is either free for everyone including people whose views you find distasteful, prejudice or just plain insane or what you have isn't free speech, I detest racist views and think they are a sign of a closed or uneducated mind but I would fight for their right to express those views a thousand times over before I would see them stopped from expressing them, you don't fix racism by banning it, you fix it with education and cultural changes. For many it is a bitter pill to swallow and those that demand it be illegal to speak so openly about something just because they think the persons views are wrong really needs to take a good hard look at themselves as they are part of the problem.

No change to Google Glass from existing law (3)

thegarbz (1787294) | about 7 months ago | (#46619121)

This article is somewhat alarmist. There's nothing changing for Google Glass. The courts have successfully upheld the old privacy laws regardless of the technology used to invade privacy. The key part here is that the changes in laws doesn't actually change what is classed as private or public.

- It's already illegal to record people in private without their consent, I don't understand where the AFR get's the idea that it's not.
- If you're in a public place you're typically not going to bump into any privacy problems (legally anyway, some people go insane at the sight of a camera).

Despite what the article says, nothing in the proposed changes make it illegal to record a public conversation. Australia's has a long history of case law that covers what is private and what is public. What these laws are doing is simply codifying the rules the court already apply.

Nothing to see here, wearing Google Glass is not going to be illegal and you're free to record anything with Glass that you are free to record without Glass as you would right now. I.e. don't go peeking into your neighbours window.

It's not called Devil's Island for nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619139)

Stay away. If you know what's good for you. Stay away.

Australia's Privacy laws are a joke (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 7 months ago | (#46619193)

Makes it sound like the government cares about your privacy while they continue to spy on everything you do: http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]

And bullies rejoiced... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46619447)

I was talking with another parent after church yesterday. Her son is being bullied. Another kid who lives across the street. He intimidates her son, threatens physical violence, traps him when he walks down the sidewalk, trespasses on her property, vandalizes her property, destroys her son's toys (smashed up a soccer goal by swinging it into rocks), etc. I advised her, well a number of courses of action, but most of all: Install Video Cameras. Get it on tape. Even if it's just on youtube, she can do a lot to discourage this bully and his family (who insists their son would never do anything like that).

Google glass would be better. Bullies everywhere will rejoice now. They can operate without fear.

Re:And bullies rejoiced... (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 7 months ago | (#46619509)

Google glass would be better. Bullies everywhere will rejoice now. They can operate without fear. ...and without a free Google glass taken off the kid who was trying to record the bully.

Retards making retarded laws... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46619497)

"Recording private conversations or activities using Google's Glass eyewear or similar wearable technologies without consent could become illegal "

SO recording private conversations or activities using my cellphone or other recording device is 100% legal? No it's not.

What is it with these incredibly low IQ politicians making laws that are 100% useless? there are existing laws that work just fine and fit the case perfectly.

Re:Retards making retarded laws... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46620079)

existing laws are on a state by state basis in Australia and they actually are significantly different between each state in Australia. A consistent set of laws in Australia would be a good thing and they appear to be recommending most of the model used in NSW which does seem to have the better privacy laws at the moment. So NO in this case what they are proposing isn't useless, besides which it isn't even pollies doing this, it is simply the report from the commission that is recommending the government do this and I tend to agree, uniform laws for privacy are a positive step forward.

What's Google policy... (1)

NapalmV (1934294) | about 7 months ago | (#46620029)

...about them? Are employees allowed to wear them at work? Including during meetings and other group activities?

This applies only to wearables? (1)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 7 months ago | (#46620033)

It's not really about privacy if I'm allowed to film my family on vacation with a camera, but can't do the same with Google glass. If I'm in a public space, do I really have a right to privacy? I don't think I do.

Photography in places like Quebec (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46620601)

Right now publishing photos of people in places governed by the Napoleonic Code such as Quebec opens the publisher up to damages because people have a "copyright" of their faces. The sheer volume of images published means that it's either a gold mine for Canadian lawyers or something to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

US needs better privacy laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46620659)

Both for the public and for the safety of douche canoes wearing Google Glass who are asking to get their ass beat.

A thin wedge against free speech (1)

DavidHumus (725117) | about 7 months ago | (#46620907)

These laws against recording in public are an early step toward curtailing freedom of speech. The recent popularity of variations on this, particularly with regard toward laws against recording police officers should be a tip-off.

We already have laws that differentiate between what's acceptable in public versus private space: walking around naked, for instance. Blurring this line looks like something that favors those who would erode and limit the public space.

No CCTV? (1)

mr_resident (222932) | about 7 months ago | (#46620935)

So, I'm reading this to include all police and retail security cameras.

"Hi, welcome to Walmart, sign here to allow us to monitor you while you shop. Have a great day!"

like in any normal country? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46621883)

in most countries, at lest in europe, it's not allowed to record conversations and take pictures of someone and make them public without the consent of that person. yes, it does have ramifications on cameras on cell phone, on glasshole toys and any other recording device. and it's also common sense to respect others privacy and not take pics of them and upload and share everywhere without them agreeing first.

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