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New Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses raise privacy concerns

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Facebook’s top privacy regulator in Europe has expressed concern about the pair of ‘smart’ Ray-Ban sunglasses the tech giant has started selling. The glasses include a front camera that can be used to take photos and take short videos.

The Data Protection Commission of Ireland (DPC) said on Friday that it required Facebook to display the LED indicator light also fitted to the specifications – which lights up when the user is recording a video – as an effective way to alert other people who are being recorded or photographed. Garante, the data protection authority in Italy, also raised concerns about users’ privacy.

Facebook’s smart glasses, which were created in partnership with the maker of Ray-Ban, allow users to listen to music, make calls or take short photos and videos as well as share them on Facebook services. In terms of design, the glasses will be available in 20 different combinations, and the glasses will be on sale at Ray-ban’s online store, and in retail stores in six countries: USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom United. It was not indicated when the expansion to other countries is intended, but we know that the price is or 329 euros in Europe.

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“In the case of glasses, there is a small indicator light that lights up when recording starts. It has not been proven to DPC or Garante that Facebook has performed tests to ensure that the LED indicator light is an effective method of alerting others,” says DPC.

For now, it has not been disclosed whether Facebook has contacted any European regulator in order to clarify these issues related to the privacy of users when using Ray-Ban Stories. But Alex Himel, vice president of the augmented reality department at Facebook Reality Labs, indicated that Facebook consulted “various privacy advocacy groups” when developing.

Source: Tech Crunch

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