Google Glass Faces Scrutiny From Privacy Watchdogs Globally

Google Inc. (GOOG) was asked by global data protection regulators to explain how it will protect the privacy of people viewed by users of the company’s Web-enabled eyeglasses.

Google’s Glass -- a wearable computer in use by a limited number of testers, which can take pictures and videos and share information via the Internet -- poses potential concerns that need to be discussed with regulators, watchdogs from the 27-nation European Union, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico said in a letter to Google’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Page today.

“We would strongly urge Google to engage in a real dialogue with data protection authorities about Glass,” said the regulators, in the letter published on the Dutch data authority’s website. As a leader in such products, Google will be the “first to confront the ethical issues” linked to their functions, said the regulators.

Google, operator of the world’s largest search engine, already faces probes after it changed its privacy system to create a uniform set of policies for more than 60 products last year. Six data protection regulators started “coordinated” enforcement measures in April over the Mountain View, California-based company’s failure to fix complaints about the new system.

Al Verney, a Brussels-based spokesman for Google, didn’t immediately return a call and e-mail seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Brussels via sbodoni@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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