July 13th, 2013 at around 10pm the news broke that George Zimmerman was found Not Guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin. With all the media attention of this terrible tragedy I was thinking of ways this could have been avoided. Society will never stop people from acting with terrible judgment but as advanced technological citizens, is there a way to protect ourselves? I believe the answer could be in the controversial device we saw debut recently from Google.
I don't know the exact statistics but the vast majority of Americans have some sort of smart phone that has the ability to take videos. Most of the time I take videos, I am watching some moment in my life or someone else’s life unfold. Honestly, the majority of my videos are of my dog but that is another story. Recently there was a video circulating of a man taking video of police with his dog, while someone else at the same time was video taping this gentleman. The man was then arrested for videoing the police and his Rottweiler jumped out of the car and the police brutally shot this dog many times at point blank range. Luckily we all know about this absolute tragedy because someone else in the background got this on video. This video is an unbiased version of the truth and will forever hold the people involved accountable if the proper authorities choose too. In this situation there was someone able to catch on video what was happening, but what if your name is Trayvon Martin.
If you're on your phone, headphones in ears, walking home from the convenience store to buy candy; your first instinct isn't too hang up, go to the home screen, press video then record and start waving around your phone to try to video some guy stalking you. No, that just is not practical and could probably make you less aware of your situation.
I want to paint a different picture of a young man walking home from the convenient store but wearing a future version of what Google has produced. Once this young man realizes there is some sort of danger approaching and I mean someone stalking you in the night with a loaded gun. He would audio commend his Google Glass to “Record All Danger!” This command would start the video feature of his Glasses and turn on a light on the outside for all people to see there is a recording in process. Since he activated the “Danger Feature” the data would be stored in a separate encrypted cloud storage that would not be easily deleted if someone got a hold of your Glasses. The authorities would alerted of your location and a 911 operated would be routed to your Glasses phone feature. When the man stalking you approached he would already know a few things by the color light that was activated.
1. He is being recorded.
2. This video is being sent to a secure server and even if he took possession of the Glasses he would not be able to delete the footage.
3. In “X” amount of time a 911 operator was going to be calling this young mans Glasses asking for assistance and they already know his GPS location.
This situation is not too far off in the future but could be derailed by people advocating privacy from Google Glass. In today’s world, you could be video taped at any moment and that is just a fact of reality. Could this device change the outcome not only for Trayvon, but many other people who become victims of murder, rape, muggings, and police brutality? I believe so and a world with citizens having this capability would be a safer place.