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Google Glass Faces Scrutiny From Privacy Watchdogs Globally

Google Glass Woos Developers to $6 Billion Wearable Market
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google Inc., wears Project Glass internet glasses while speaking at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Google Inc. 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 that 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 the company'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, the regulators said.

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, which is testing its Glass product with limited users, didn’t immediately return a call and e-mail seeking comment.

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