Google is playing it safe here, especially given the fate of the Google Glass after its unwelcome public reception and the privacy concerns over such products over the past decade. Right out the gate, despite having both microphones and cameras onboard, Google’s AR prototypes do not support photo or video capture, likely largely in order to avoid privacy paranoia aplenty.
In case a particular scenario requires capturing the environment in the camera view, all the data is deleted as soon as an experience like AR navigation ends. Moreover, if the visual data is needed for further analysis and resolving bugs, there’s a solution for that, too.
According to Google, sensitive information such as faces, signages, and license plates will be removed before being stored on secure servers where a 30-day auto-deletion system is already in place. Google adds that its AR prototypes won’t be tested in spaces like hospitals, schools, playgrounds, rallies, emergency response hotspots, and places of worship.
Google’s AR prototypes attempt to address privacy concerns with LED indicators. Every time cameras kick into action, an LED indicator will light up to inform people in the camera view that they may be being recorded.
A similar system was been implemented on the Facebook Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses. Google has also suggested that if a person in any prototype camera’s field of view wants captured data to be deleted, the testers have been instructed to comply and wipe the recording logs.