Google Critics Say The Eyes Don’t Have It

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Google shareholders, please turn off your Google Glass.

The tech giant’s ban on recording devices at its shareholder meeting drew fire from a consumer watchdog group, which called the policy hypocritical considering that Google’s high-tech eyewear makes it possible to record video and sound with the blink of an eye.

At the company’s annual meeting yesterday in Mountain View, Calif., John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog called the Web-connected eyewear “one of the most privacy intrusive, Orwellian devices ever.”

He blasted Google’s policy of banning recording devices and called on the company to implement strict privacy guards for people filmed by Google Glass wearers unknowingly.

Google has a policy against recording and taking pictures of its event, but attendees are allowed to carry their devices. Google also webcasts the event.

In response, Google CEO Larry Page pointed out that most smartphones have cameras, too, and that people are quick to condemn new technology.

“How many of you have a cellphone on you today?” he asked the audience.

He cautioned critics to at least wait for the devices to come to market before declaring a privacy apocalypse.

He also addressed recent media claims that Google Glass would be used to peep in bathrooms, adding that people carry phones into restrooms.

“When we go into bathrooms we don’t collapse in terror that someone might be wearing Glass,” he said. “It’s not that big of a deal.”

Aside from Google Glass, the meeting touched on some of Google’s other recent advancements, from self-driving cars to its new Maps.

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