Wilton, Conn. (CBS CONNECTICUT) — Neither high prices nor the idea of an electronic device attached to the face stand as the primary reason a vast majority of Americans refuse to wear Google Glass as 72 percent are rejecting the device because of privacy concerns.
A new study of 1,000 U.S. consumers from the market research firm Toluna prodded at Americans’ deeper feelings regarding Google’s headset, which two-in-five consumers cited concerns including the potential for hackers to record and monitors someone’s constant actions without their knowledge, and the ability to easily obtain private data.
“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,” said Mark Simon, Toluna’s North American managing director. “This is something Google and other tech companies using the technology should address before the product can become mainstream.”
Many of the 72 percent abstaining from the headset device for privacy reasons cited the ease with which their private actions could become public through a device that could potentially be worn at anytime, anywhere.
“Exciting developments in technology introduce numerous opportunities for consumers, but they also bring concerns,” Simon told Adweek. Google’s feedback to privacy concerns are ongoing as a large campaign has been waged to make more people outside of the tech world comfortable with the smart headset.
In March, Google began publishing a list of facts to debunk the “top ten Glass myths” circulating about the controversial smart headset on its Google+ page. Responding to reports that the device would signal the official end of privacy, Google posted that people had a similar notion during the 19th Century introduction of the camera.
“Cameras were banned in parks, at national monuments and on beaches. People feared the same when the first cell phone cameras came out. Today, there are more cameras than ever before. In ten years there will be even more cameras, with or without Glass,” reads the page.
Google published a similar list imploring the “Glass Explorers,’ the first ambassadors and test-users of the device, to improve their behavior and bad press by no longer acting like “creepy” or rude “Glassholes.”
Google has dismissed claims that the headset could be used as a spying device, noting that the recording function of the headset is in the “off” position by default. Google also rejected the claim that the device supports facial recognition.
Still, some states have moved to ban the wearable headset for drivers, and a series of restaurants and other public venues have prohibited use of the device on their property. Distraction, especially while driving, was the second-most reported concern after privacy.
In January, one Ohio man wearing Google Glass in a movie theater was removed from a movie theater and detained for several hours by federal agents suspecting him of recording the movie “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” for piracy purposes.