Google Glass – What Your Kids Need to Know

If you look at the Google’s Glass FAQ page, you would see the warning about the use of Google Glass by children. It says “Don’t let children under 13 use Glass as it could harm developing vision. Also, kids might break Glass or hurt themselves, and Google’s terms of service don’t permit those under 13 to register a Google account”. Prolonged near viewing can harm children with accommodative or focusing problems. Children should also be aware of how to conduct themselves in the presence of Glass users.

Google Glass – the Technology

Glass has a thumbnail-size transparent display above the right eye. This technology has all that it needs to attract people like bees to honey. Google lists its capabilities: say take a picture to take a picture, record what you see not using your hands, get translated printed words to any language in real time, speak to send a message, share anything you see, and get information on anything you want. However, this hands-free gadget is proving to be a threat, especially for children, precisely because of these wonderful capabilities.

Google Glass

It’s obvious that using Glass is different from using your smartphone:

  • People usually make conscious decisions about using their mobile phone, but Glass tracks the user’s eye movements and performs data requests based on that. No clicking or swiping is required.
  • It takes time to swipe a phone’s screen, sign into a social media account and share files. With Google Glass, you can upload photos and videos and manage your accounts through a few verbal commands. This allows people to share what they see quickly.

Glass can contribute to and make use of personal data without conscious permission as it tracks your eye movements and your data requests depending on where you are looking. This will give Google information about your preferences and desires.

The Dark Side of Glass

Google Glass offers predators the opportunity to snap photos of children in public places cleverly without anyone knowing. The device provides an outright private computing experience so that no one can understand whether the user is taking photos or checking other data. Children should know that peers who want to harass them can make videos and pictures secretly and share them in social networking sites (which can be also be done with Glass). Glass gives users with bad intentions a real edge.

Protecting Your Privacy

With technologies like Google Glass making rapid strides, you need to know how to protect your safety and privacy and that of your kids. Here are some tips to help:

  • Understand Glass etiquette – You should educate your kids on how to behave while they are around a Glass user – various sites offer excellent beginner-to-advanced level digital media learning for parents. These sites also provide the opportunity to test your knowledge with a quiz. Share this information with your kids and check if are sticking to these guidelines.
  • Set up limits – If you are not comfortable with your children using or being around Glass, set up limits and talk it over with them. Explain the potential consequences of misuse and how it will affect them.
  • Create community awareness – Embolden your community to restrict the use of this device in sensitive zones including bathrooms, locker rooms, swimming pools, schools, gyms and beaches. Encourage owners and proprietors to devise the rules for the property based on that. Set up reminders to inform the public that this wearable device is prohibited in some places. In a recent incident, a Seattle restaurant threw out a patron for wearing Google Glass as it was against their policy.

A new survey found that around 86 percent of Internet users mask their digital footprints. This means that a large percent of Internet users are not easily traceable. So, it is very important to make your children understand about the adverse effects of Glass and remind them there is no digital rewind button.