Is this Google Glass arrest the future of citizen journalism?


Screen capture from the video below.



“This video is proof that Google Glass will change citizen journalism forever,” Chris Barrett, one of the first 1,000 recipients of Google’s new computing device that looks like glasses, wrote on YouTube.


His video, below, shows a brawl and the subsequent arrest of a young man on a boardwalk in New Jersey, where Barrett, a documentary filmmaker, had gone to see 4th of July fireworks.


This is an edited version of the original video, which lasts 4 minutes and 25 seconds.


Barrett believes this is the first arrest recorded using the Glass’s built-in camera, and that his experience illustrates how this new technology could be useful in other types of reporting: “What is interesting with Glass is that in tense situations, like, say, war reporting, your hands are free while you’re shooting,” he told NPR. “You can use your hands to protect yourself. If I wanted to back away, I could do it without dropping my camera or stopping the recording.”


However, not everyone is as enthusiastic about Google Glass. US lawmakers have expressed concern over the implications for privacy raised by Google’s new headset. The House Bipartisan Privacy Caucus recently asked the company for more information; they were disappointed by Google’s response last month indicating that it would not be changing its privacy policies.  “We’re at a point where the technology is outstripping the common sense ability to protect people’s basic privacy rights”, Rep. Joe Barton, the caucus’ chairman, told the Washington Post.


Google Glass, which is currently in testing, is expected to go on sale next year for $1,500. The beta testers, whom Google calls “explorers”, have used it in a wide variety of ways: to livestream protests in Turkey; to film surgery procedures; and to record skydives, among other things.


Do you think Google’s headset will change citizen journalism? Or will it pose a risk to people’s privacy? Let us know in the comments section below.