Growing Concern: Lawmakers Apprehensive About Google Glass
By: Robert Spence
On Thursday eight members of Congress formally demanded that Google’s CEO Larry Page address a range of privacy concerns about its new wearable technology device, Google Glass.
In the letter, the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus asks Page to disclose Google’s plan to incorporate privacy protections into Glass by June 14.
“We are curious whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American,” the letter said. “Because Google Glass has not yet been released and we are uncertain of Google’s plan to incorporate privacy protections into the device, there are still a number of unanswered questions.”
The eight members to sign the letter were: Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas); Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (D-Ga.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Rep. Richard Nugent (R-Fla.), Rep. Bobby Rush (D-lll.) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.).
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Although Google Glass is not for sale to the public yet, the inventive eyewear allows users to connect to the Internet, take photographs, record and watch video, send text messages, post to social media sites and read text snippets. The computerized glasses are designed with a translucent screen slightly above the right eye, displaying the weather, Gmail messages, directions, news alerts and other information.
Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, said he’s not surprised that lawmakers are starting to ask questions about Google Glass, which is still in development.
“I think all of the questions are valid, but these could be questions about smart phones too,” he added. “What’s so hard to determine about this letter, though, is if this is driven by a true desire to protect the public, or if it’s motivated by anti-Google lobbies or politician grand-stand.”
The letter from the Privacy Caucus notes how Google has dealt with privacy issues in the past and then asks how company executives plan to keep Glass from collecting data without the user’s consent.
“Would Google Glass collect any data about the user without the user’s knowledge and consent,” the lawmaker wrote. “If so, why? If not, please explain.”
Moorhead expects that Google will quickly answer the questions in an effort to calm members of congress down.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.