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"Tight security restrictions at Thursday’s Google shareholder meeting led even the company’s much-hyped Google Glass technology to be banned, infuriating a consumer watchdog group who accused the tech giant of hypocrisy."

I love this.

Okay, beyond the obvious and mildly hilarious irony of it, and beyond another Transparency For The Masses hashtag for me, there’s an interesting point here: Google is acknowledging, right out of the box - in fact, before the box even ships - that there are contexts in which Glass is inappropriate. That is actually really good news. Let’s work with that. OF COURSE there are situations where you shouldn’t be taking video/audio recordings of what’s around you, and it’s not just a matter of corporate confidentiality. It is your friends’ kids, the people who live on your street doing their own thing, the business of strangers. In a civilised society, you don’t just privilege corporate space, you privilege personal space, too.

Moving beyond that, though, how about this: it’s not just that some things are private, it is that there is a space between private and public which should not lightly be entered or subsumed. There is a space which does not belong to me, or to you, or to any third party, but which is for all of us to act in, and that space is communal but not owned by any one of us. In that space, you should not record or report without the specific consent of everyone involved.

Privacy is not binary, it is fuzzy, and it inheres not in individuals only, but in groups, locations, contexts and communities.

Just a thought.

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