Thu, 21 Oct 2021

Ireland asks Facebook about privacy and use of smart glasses

Robert Besser
20 Sep 2021, 17:55 GMT+10

DUBLIN, Ireland: Ireland's data privacy regulator has asked Facebook whether its new smart glasses can photograph others without properly notifying the subjects of the photographs.

Ireland's Data Privacy Commissioner has requested that Facebook prove how an LED indicator light on the smart glasses is "an effective means" to let people know they are being filmed or photographed.

Ireland's Data Privacy Commissioner is the lead regulator of Facebook under the European Union's strict data privacy laws.

The new Facebook smart glasses were designed in partnership with Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica. Wearers are able to listen to music, answer phone calls or capture photos and short videos, while sharing them on Facebook.

"While it is accepted that many devices, including smart phones, can record third party individuals, it is generally the case that the camera or the phone is visible as the device by which recording is happening, thereby putting those captured in the recordings on notice," the Irish regulator said in a statement.

"With the glasses, there is a very small indicator light that comes on when recording is occurring. It has not been demonstrated to the DPC..that comprehensive testing in the field was done by Facebook or Ray-Ban to ensure the indicator LED light is an effective means of giving notice."

The Data Privacy Commissioner has also indicated it might ask Facebook to alert the public as to how the smart phone might give rise to less obvious recordings of their images.

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