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IT should ban Google Glass before it's too late

Rob Enderle | Dec. 16, 2013
Columnist Rob Enderle writes that you should do yourself a favor and ban Google Glass before it is even available to your employees.

Ironically, this came to light this week when an activist, pretending he was a Google employee, tried to incite a riot by badmouthing people demonstrating against tech companies here in California because of the resulting unaffordable living expense. He actually could have gotten someone killed if things had gotten out of hand. Social media picked him up and the hoax wasn't discovered until much later, after the damage had been done to both Google and the tech industry.

Think how much more powerful this could be if someone pretending to be management at an organized strike was to push around pregnant protestors and call them inappropriate names or do other things to incite the crowd to violence?

I studied the Borax strikes where protestors actually shot down security helicopters, attempted to poison wells and buried managers up to their necks (not kidding) in ant hills. We haven't seen a really nasty labor action in a while, but the combination of always-on cameras and a little ill-advised creativity could end really badly.

It's a given that some young employees will post inappropriate pictures, but their defense — if you allow this product at your company —will be that you may have tacitly approved how it would be used unless you are very specific in your policy. The headline "[Insert your company here] Is Accused of Promoting Sexual Deviant's Practice" isn't as far-flung as you might think.

And we haven't even touched on the security concerns that would result when a remote viewer turned the glasses and microphone on without the user's knowledge.

Attention Tech Executives: Ban Google Glass
The bottom line is that you should set a company policy that bans Google Glass — at least on campus and during business events — unless you have thought through the risks of employees using these and what might happen if they misused them or the use caused a firing or damage.

We used to ban phones that had cameras from most corporations, but we let them in once we realized it was pretty obvious when someone was using one improperly. With Google Glass, you may simply not know until the video is on the Web — or with a competitor — and that makes this technology too dangerous for most companies.


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