Making the Case: Should Google Glass Be Banned in Law Firms?

The Paralegal Resource
October 16, 2013 — 1,645 views  
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Time Magazine has declared Google Glass as one of 2012's best inventions. Though it is not yet available to the public at large, from what has been said about it, it promises to be game changer. As of now, only Google employees and some thousand 'explorers' have access to this device.

Google Glass is a form of wearable technology that is worn like eyeglasses. You can use it to record videos or take pictures, and do a host of other functions. You can do all this without letting other people even know. This is what has got people concerned.

While technology has got a number of uses, people have also found ways to misuse it. Some people may use Google Glass to record movies in a theater, while others may use it surreptitiously in rest rooms and locker rooms. Some businesses have already banned Google Glasses on their premises. Now the question is, should law firms also get on the bandwagon and ban Google Glass?

The Rationale Behind Banning Google Glass in Law Firms

The reason some companies have given in for banning Google Glass on their premises seem rational enough. For instance, if you are having a meal at a restaurant with someone, another person could use Google Glass to record it or even tape your conversation. They might do it in such a way that you will not know what is happening.

You might say that a smart phone can be used in the same way. But at least you will know when someone is trying to use a smartphone to take a picture of you. With Google Glass, the person will not come to know that he is being recorded.

If you go by this rationale, it seems the day is not far when law firms will also join the list of organizations that will ban Google Glass.

No one can deny that that there is a credible risk here. Suppose there are a couple of clients sitting in the waiting room of a law firm--One client is discussing her impending divorce with her mother when another client who is wearing a Google Glass starts recording the conversation, without the other woman's knowledge. Suppose a client wearing a Google Glass walks by a few exposed documents of great importance. If his intentions are not right, he may try to record them with his Google Glass, without letting anybody know about it. What about recording a lawyer's conversation with his client?

Why it May not Make Much Sense to Ban in Law Firms

We will go back to the smartphone Vs. Google Glass debate here. Sure, you can use your Google Glass to take pictures, make videos, and record conversations; But how is a smartphone any different? You can do the same things with the voice recording software on a smartphone also.

On the other hand, to take videos or pictures from your Google Glass, you will have to give a voice command. This is more than you can say for a smartphone. Then there is the tremendous potential for its use by lawyers to interact with their clients and colleagues. Law firms should wait and see how the situation unfolds before they ban Google Glass inside their firms altogether.

The Paralegal Resource