A new report from the European Data Protection Supervisor predicts that the expanding smart glasses market could dramatically reshape the way people live and do business. The wearable, internet-enabled devices are treated as a particular class of the Internet of Things, allowing the display of information in the user's view field and the capture of information from the physical world.
Smart glasses have raised privacy and security concerns since their inception a number of years ago, and the report highlights the need for developers to assess the impact of intended operations of smart glasses which involve the processing of personal data, as their popularity grows in both consumer and business markets. One of the main concerns is the capacity of the devices to record video and audio in such a discreet way that the people being recorded are not aware of it.
The position of the European Data Protection Supervisor is that the GDPR and the ePrivacy Regulation (once adopted) should provide robust safeguards against uncontrolled use of privacy intrusive operations in devices such as smart glasses. Nonetheless, this is an area which is likely to attract further discussion as the popularity of the devices grows.
This technology report on smart glasses and data protection aims at clarifying the state of play of smart glasses in the market, official positions on related privacy and data protection issues and future developments.