Technology – Can the Law Keep Up?

Technology is moving faster than the ability to our laws to keep track of it. A good example of this is the so called high-tech glasses made by Google, commonly known as Google Glass.[1]

Google Glass is a computer that looks like a pair of glasses. As a device, it offers many of the same functions as smartphones, making it possible for people to read emails, take photos and record audio and video. Most of these functions respond to verbal command, which of course makes the glasses very convenient to use.

I believe most of us welcome this new technology, however, from legal point of view one cannot help but wonder how the law should deal with devices such as Google Glass. Google itself is of course lobbying officials to stop any proposed restrictions on – for instance – driving with headsets such as Google Glass.[2]

Courts are just beginning to consider the matter. In January this year a woman’s traffic ticket for wearing Google Glass behind the wheel was dismissed because there was no proof the device was operating at the time.[3]

Another concern is that the devices will erode privacy since Google Glass wearers may take photos or shoot video instantaneously. The use of audio recording could possibly even be considered violating wiretapping laws in some states.[4]

The Google Glass also is seen as posing a privacy threat by making it harder than ever for people to remain anonymous. There is already a facial recognition app, which allows Glass wearers to scan faces of strangers against several databases.[5] And even though Google officially bans facial recognition apps, people who tinker with the device’s software can get around the company’s policy pretty easy.

However, some lawyers believe that technology is not a foe but rather a great tool that can be used to enhance the legal practice.[6] In the end, it is not as much about as technology as it is about who is in control of it.








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