Ray-Ban Facebook Stories

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Ray-Ban Facebook Stories

Ray-Ban & Facebook
Wi-Fi Bluetooth

Review date: Nov. 8, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Super creepy

Well, this sounds like a potential privacy nightmare. Ray-Ban teamed up with Facebook to sell glasses with two cameras and three microphones built-in that connect to the Facebook View app and, with a voice command, can record what you're seeing and hearing. Then those recordings can be share to "Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, TikTok, Snapchat and more." Yikes!!! These very creepy smart glasses come in 20 different variations of styles and colors. They also come in a range of lenses including clear, sun, transition and prescription. We're not at all sure the world needs people walking around in sunglasses that share what you see and hear with Facebook. Nope, don't think the world needs that at all.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Facebook joined with popular sunglasses maker Ray-Ban to make these smart glasses. Ray-Ban doesn’t worry us too much, but Facebook does. Facebook has a long history of betraying users' privacy and trust. They've faced record fines around the world for this and have been caught hiding data breaches from their users. Just as recently as April 2021, it was reported the personal information of more than 500 million Facebook users was shared online in a massive data leak. Couple that with recent Facebook whistleblower testimony to the US Congress that outlined the harms Facebook causes and the dishonest way they approach dealing with these harms and Facebook appears to be one of most immoral companies we review in *Privacy Not Included.

This is the starting point for bringing glasses you put on your face that include cameras and microphones and a way to share everything to social media through the Facebook View app. It is well established that Facebook collects and shares a huge amount of personal data on their users and doesn’t always secure that data properly. That alone makes these smart glasses a huge privacy concern.

Beyond that though, a bigger privacy concern that must be considered. Facebook (now Meta we suppose) and Mark Zuckerberg seem quite obsessed with owning the real estate on our faces for the augmented reality and virtual reality metaverse of the future. But what does it mean when a person puts cameras and microphones on their face and points them out at the world? How do you know if you’re being recorded by these glasses? Facebook says there’s a little LED light that shows they are recording, but some privacy regulators worry that isn’t enough to protect people from unknown recording. And what if you don’t want to be recorded? Or surveilled? How do you opt out of being recorded? We don’t see a way and many others have the same concerns. Facebook has built in some privacy protections, which, yay!, but the question is, are they enough? The answer seems to be no, because Facebook has mostly put the onus on wearers of these glasses to be responsible with them.

What’s the worst that could happen with the smart glasses? Well, we’re afraid a lot. The question comes down to, does Facebook have your best interests at heart when it collects all the data this device is capable of collecting? From Cambridge Analytica to where we are today, the answer to that question is a resounding NO. Couple that with the ethical questions surrounding surveillance and being recorded without consent and we're afraid these glasses comes with *privacy not included.

Tips to protect yourself

mobile Privacy warning Security A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: Yes

App: No

Microphone

Device: Yes

App: No

Tracks location

Device: No

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

Facebook account is required

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

Facebook doesn't sell your information.

Facebook shares data with numerous third parties such as partners who use their analytics services, advertisers, measurement partners, partners offering goods and services in Facebook products, vendors and service providers, researchers and academics, law enforcement, and legal requests.

In addition, Facebook collects personal data from its partners. These partners provide information about your activities off Facebook — including information about your device, websites you visit, purchases you make, the ads you see, and how you use their services—whether or not you have a Facebook account or are logged into Facebook.

How can you control your data?

Facebook Assistant gives you the option to store transcripts and related data about your voice interactions. You can view and delete your voice transcripts. Deleting a transcript will also delete the data associated with that transcript. You can also delete storage whatsoever. When storage is turned off, Facebook won’t keep transcripts of your voice interactions or data related to them. Any voice interactions that occurred before you turned off storage will still be stored for three years, unless you delete them sooner.

Data required to operate the glasses and the app (such as the status of your Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity and battery life) is stored for 90 days. After that time, Facebook begins the process for deleting data. If you opt-in to share additional data with Facebook, they store this information for 90 days. After that time, Facebook begins the process for de-identifying this data.

When you set up the Ray-Ban Stories glasses, you have the option to turn on Facebook Assistant or you can choose to enable it later via Settings on the Facebook View app. You can also turn off voice storage at any time in Settings on Facebook View.

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Bad

In April 2021, it was reported that there was a personal data leak of about 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and, in some cases, email addresses.

In August 2019, Bloomberg reported that Facebook hired contractors to transcribe audio messages users sent through Messenger and Facebook confirmed the report.

Can this product be used offline?

Yes

Ray-Ban Stories has a built-in on and off switch so you can turn the glasses off at any time, which disables the microphone and camera and the glasses will function like normal eyewear.

User-friendly privacy information?

Yes

Facebook has a privacy microsite for Ray-Ban Stories, as well as FAQ with privacy-related questions.

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

People’s photos and videos are encrypted on the glasses using Android file-based encryption.

Strong password

Yes

Two-factor authentication is encouraged.

Security updates

Yes

Both app and glasses

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

A bug bounty program is at place: https://www.facebook.com/whitehat

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

When you set up your Ray-Ban Stories glasses, you have the option to turn on Facebook Assistant, a voice assistant that enables a hands-free way to capture photos and videos.

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Voice recognition is used by voice assistant. In addition, camera processing is run by machine learning models.

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Yes

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Yes


News

Designed for privacy, controlled by you.
Facebook
With Ray-Ban Stories you can instantly capture any moment, so your privacy and the privacy of those around you is more important than ever.
Why you shouldn’t buy Facebook Ray-Ban smart glasses
Access Now
Below, we’ll unpack why you shouldn’t buy these wearable surveillance cameras, why they can’t be used safely in public spaces, and why Facebook and other companies need to prioritise human rights when developing “smart” glasses.
Ray-Ban Stories let you wear Facebook on your face. But why would you want to?
The Conversation
In partnership with eyewear brand Ray-Ban, Facebook has released its first pair of smart glasses, offering wearers the ability to capture photos and videos without even needing to pull out their phone.
Facebook warned over 'very small' indicator LED on smart glasses, as EU DPAs flag privacy concerns
TechCrunch
Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe has raised concerns about a pair of “smart” Ray-Ban sunglasses the tech giant is now selling. The glasses include a face-mounted camera that can be used to take pictures and short videos with a verbal cue.
Why Facebook is using Ray-Ban to stake a claim on our faces
MIT Technology Review
Last week Facebook released its new $299 “Ray-Ban Stories” glasses. Wearers can use them to record and share images and short videos, listen to music, and take calls.
Guide to Ray-Ban Stories: Bystander Privacy in a World of Wearable Cameras
Connect Safely
Facebook Reality Labs and Ray-Ban have partnered on a new product called “Ray-Ban Stories,” the companies’ first generation of smart glasses.
Ray-Ban Stories, aka Facebook Glasses, are a privacy nightmare
Input Magazine
For a mere $299 you can creep out people around you and record them without their consent.
Listen: Next in Tech | Episode 38: Datacenter and Infrastructure Markets in China
S&P Global
Every region on the globe has their own characteristics, but the high levels of digitization in China create interesting requirements. Perkins Liu, senior research analyst, joins host Eric Hanselman to explore the dynamics of the market and the forces at work.
Facebook Is Making Camera Glasses, Ha Ha Oh No
BuzzFeed News
Ray-Ban Stories can take photos and videos with a touch of a button and send them to your phone.

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