What's surprising about Google Glass is that, even though it's not yet available to the general public, it doesn't take much spying to see what investors will be looking at with it. Several Google executives, including co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have made high-profile public appearances wearing the thing. There's a slick, branded Glass website and an army of so-called Glass Explorers acting as beta testers, among them actor Neil Patrick Harris, politician Newt Gingrich, Foursquare's Dennis Crowley and Thomson Reuters social media editor Anthony De Rosa. For the record, Google Glass is a tiny computer married to a video camera, small display and sound recorder. It's voice activated and can up- and download audio and video content and record images. It will display Web content, get directions and offer Glass versions of Google apps. Once it does that, it can broadcast the whole shebang to anybody with a Web connection. And it does it all in a unit about the size of a hip pair of sunglasses. "It is about our relationship to technology," Timothy Jordan, developer advocate for Google Glass, said in a video grabbed at the last South by Southwest music and tech conference in Austin conference last month. "You can still have access to the technology you love. But it won't take you out of the moment."
In spite of all the new media muscle pushing Glass, Castle sees a major crack in the concept. Specifically, the conflict between rules Google require users sign Terms of Service to use the system with the rights, laws, practices, content and property of the people, business and governments around the world, who will be digitally captured by Google Glass. Tom Henderson at ITworld, a publication of Framingham, Mass.-based IT analysis company IDG Communications, hit the Terms of Service zeitgeist nail on the head with a brilliant series about divorcing Google. "There are some observations that I've made, post-divorce, of just how pervasive online data gathering has become," Henderson wrote this month, "and how Terms of Service privacy invasion and data sharing are now so widespread and out in the open." Google Glass will only focus these concerns into a burning fire, Castle says. "The question with the Terms of Service for using Google Glass is, will it trump the privacy, personal and intellectual property rights of people and institutions who probably won't even know it is being used?" Castle said. To feel the heat of the legal risk Google Glass poses, take a brief look at Google's Terms of Service themselves. For example: "When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify