Facebook smart glasses modelled by Mark Zuckerberg

Italy’s Data Protection Authority question Facebook over smart glasses

Business News

Italy’s data protection authority said on Friday it has asked Facebook to provide clarifications over the social media giant’s newly-launched smart glasses to assess whether the product is compliant with privacy laws.

The smart glasses, created in partnership with Ray Ban maker EssilorLuxottica, allow wearers to listen to music and take calls. They can also take photos and videos and share them across Facebook’s services.

The Italian watchdog, Garante, said it has called on the Irish data protection commissioner to ask Facebook for clarifications. The Irish commission leads oversight of Facebook because the social-media company’s European headquarters are based in Ireland.

What measures are in place to protect privacy?

The Italian authority said it wants to know which measures Facebook has in place to protect people occasionally filmed, in particular children. Furthermore, they want information on systems adopted to make data collected anonymous and the features of the voice assistant connected to the glasses.

“We know people have questions about new technologies, so before the launch of Ray Ban Stories we engaged with the Irish DPC to share how we’ve built privacy into the product design and functionality of the glasses to give both device owners and people around them peace of mind,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

“We’ll answer questions from Garante through the Irish DPC and we look forward to our continued collaboration with regulators in Europe,” the spokesperson added.

Amnesty International also raised concerns

On Friday, Amnesty International raised similar concerns over privacy. Amnesty Tech, the NGO’s tech wing, tweeted: “Facebook is a surveillance advertising company whose business relies on exploiting our data and invading our privacy on a vast scale.”

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