Facebook’s slowness may have been intentional; Andrew Bosworth, who heads the company’s Reality Labs, has repeatedly said the company does not want to “surprise” people by introducing new technology. This was in response to Facebook’s mantra, its questionable data collection practices, and its cascade of somewhat helpless privacy settings.
But if Facebook doesn’t want to surprise people, it may have incorporated a much more obvious indicator light into its latest product. At a dinner party with friends last weekend, Peter wore the Ray-Ban Stories all the time – and it wasn’t until he pointed out the tiny sensors built into the temples that his friends noticed. Once they did, however, Facebook’s biggest problem soon surfaced: “So, are you recording all the time?” a friend asked, only half joking. Likewise, Lauren recorded (then deleted) a conversation with an editor while fumbling with the glasses. The publisher never noticed.
In addition, while the models we were brought to test were sunglasses with tinted lenses, Facebook offers 20 different configurations with three Ray-Ban frame shapes (Wayfarer, Round and Meteor), including versions with lenses. transparent. So while our dark-lensed Ray-Bans were more comfortable outdoors – in public places, where it is generally allowed to photograph others without their consent – shoppers could choose a pair of glasses. which could be worn day and night, indoors and outdoors.
All of this raises a serious question: how do people not will use this technology to create sensitive, violent or controversial content? We’re not saying people won’t use the glasses to hold memories of family reunions or a day at the beach – we’re just saying they’re also wearing the best sex tape camera in the history of the world. , one that records without the now accepted social signal of holding a phone in front of your face.
The other questions all flow from this assumption, and are both less rhetorical and much more thorny. Are Facebook and Instagram ready to handle the influx of this content? What if the person creating said content does so without the express consent of anyone in the images and clips? And above all, the questions that arise with all piece of connected hardware from Menlo Park: How much of your Facebook data does it get when you capture a video on these glasses and share it through the standalone Facebook View app?
You can turn off the glasses, which cuts off power to the camera and microphone. The glasses monitor the status of your battery, your Facebook connection and your wireless connection; they are the only non-negotiable ones. Everything else the glasses and the View app can do – share how much time you spend recording videos, how many clips and images you’ve captured, use the Facebook Assistant for voice control, and store these transcripts – is an activation setting, communicated during the application setup process. Likewise, the company claims that everything you capture is encrypted on the glasses. He even published a sheet outlining his privacy policies for Ray-Ban Stories, and he built what he calls a “privacy microsite” for people visiting the Ray-Ban website.
As for content moderation, Facebook spokespersons say the same rules apply for glasses as for any other content creation tool. They point out that the use of Ray-Ban Stories or Facebook View requires you to agree to respect the community standards, which includes a strong subsection devoted to “objectionable content” – and that Facebook, Instagram and Messenger all use “a combination of automated technology, human review and reporting tools” to identify and remove anything that violates these standards.
Hearing Facebook talk about it sounds so easy. Maybe too easy.
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