Tech experts throw shade at Facebook-Ray Ban smart glasses

Campaign US readers say Facebook’s reputation of tracking and targeting makes them uneasy about the smart glasses

Sep 13, 2021 04:00:00 AM | Article | Sabrina Sanchez

Facebook unveiled its first pair of smart glasses on Thursday (September 9), created in collaboration with eyewear company Ray-Ban. 

The glasses, called Ray-Ban Stories, allow people to listen to music, take calls or capture photos and short videos using a button on the glasses or through hands-free voice commands. People with a Facebook account can download the photos instantly and can share them across its social platforms. The starting price for a pair of shades is US$299. 

The glasses have already raised concerns about privacy implications and Facebook’s handling of user data. The tech company has previously been criticised for how it handles user data many times, though it denies it would access content recorded by the smart-glasses without consent. 

Facebook also said the glasses contain an LED light on the side that turns on when the camera is on, a feature it claims will protect people’s privacy by “notifying them” when they are being filmed.

Still, many are not convinced. 

In a review, BuzzFeed News reporter Katie Notopulous pointed out that one could simply cover the LED light with tape, though it is a violation of Facebook’s terms of service. The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern reported that many of the people she recorded while wearing the glasses weren’t aware until she told them. 

The consensus is that, while cool and hip in Ray-Bans style, these glasses could do more harm than good…

Ad-savvy Campaign US readers agree: they do not want to be tracked by Facebook—especially on their faces!

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