17 May 2013

Top IP lawyer questions Google Glass

Google's ground-breaking Glass technology is likely to be illegal in the UK, a two-time IP lawyer of the year has claimed.

Google Glass: privacy issues Wikimedia/Tedeytan

Philip Hannay, CEO of Glasgow law firm Cloch Solicitors, backed up comments made by British journalist and novelist John Lanchester who suggested that that the technology – which will allow users to access the internet and record and transmit what they are looking at, without any visible indicator to the public or people who are being recorded - breaches basic data protection provisions.

Privacy law

Mr Lanchester had written in the London Review of Books that the technology may contravene the 1998 Data Protection Act.
According to The Drum, Mr Hannay also claimed that the recording facility built into the wearable hand-free glasses is a breach of ECHR privacy laws.
Mr Hannay added that if the technology is swiftly adopted and accepted, the privacy breaches may not be practically enforceable at state level. He said the UK will have to consider the EU approach to the technology, even though ‘the EU is apparently finding it hard enough for data protection regulation to be understood and implemented’.

UK launch

The IP lawyer also compared the Google Glass covert recording facility with the requirement of CCTV to overtly carry a compliant accompanying notice. ‘No doubt Google will provide notification via a printed T-shirt meant to be worn with the Glass,’ he said.
The product is being trialled and is scheduled to be launched in the UK next year.