Australian Senator Cory Bernardi has declared Google Glass might just be the end of privacy as we know it, because Google could use the device to conduct enable mass surveillance.
Bernardi is a Liberal Senator for South Australia. Australia's Liberals are the nation's dominant right wing party and claim kinship with the UK's Conservative Party and the USA's Republicans.
Bernardi is on his party's right wing, probably its extreme end. How extreme? In 2012 he was demoted for suggesting polygamy and even bestiality could be the consequences of legalising gay marriage.
If you doubt us, head to page 7245 of Hansard (PDF) from September 18th, 2012, when Bernardi said the following:
"If we are prepared to redefine marriage so that it suits the latest criterion that two people who love each other should be able to get married irrespective of their gender and/or if they are in a sexual relationship, then what is the next step? The next step, quite frankly, is having three people or four people that love each other being able to enter into a permanent union endorsed by society—or any other type of relationship.”
He then went on to utter these words:
"There are even some creepy people out there—and I say 'creepy' deliberately—who are unfortunately afforded a great deal more respect than I believe they deserve. These creepy people say it is okay to have consensual sexual relations between humans and animals. Will that be a future step? In the future will we say, 'These two creatures love each other and maybe they should be able to be joined in a union.'"
Bernardi's latest thought bubble emerged on his blog, which he uses as an unashamedly populist forum to attract supporters to his far-right (by Australian standards) policies.
Titled “Big Brother is Closer Than You Think”, the post suggests Google Glass could become an instrument of surveillance, with Google taking on the role of Big Brother.
Bernardi's logic on on Google Glass, which he refers to as “GG”, is as follows:
"GG comes with the ability to record video and audio of everything that happens throughout your day. No longer is there a need to grab an iPhone and click to capture the moment. GG can do it all day, every day, automatically. That might be fine if you are the user but what if you are an unwitting victim of such recording?
A single GG wearer in your favourite restaurant could capture your image and your conversation without you ever knowing. The footage would be stored on the Google servers, your voice could be translated into text and with the use of facial recognition, could be actually matched to your Google profile. You might even find it on a social media site somewhere for millions of others to see.
It could mean the end of privacy as we know it."
Bernardi's final sentence says Google Glass is “... one reason we should question whether some of the great advancements in technology are designed to serve us or serve the interests of others.”
He's far from the only one to ask that question when it comes to Google, which might just redeem some of the above, and previous Australian technology policies like the proposed national internet filter.
If only he hadn't also said that stuff about animals, he might even be taken seriously. ®