Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Snap Spectacles 4.0
Someday smart glass might become a thing. Today doesn't quite feel like that day. These augmented reality Spectacles from Snap, you know, the company that makes Snapchat, say they will help you "create the world you want to see." We think that means they are chock-full of things like dual 3D waveguide displays that provide up to 2000 Nits of brightness. (What is a nit of brightness you ask? We did too. Apparently it's how display manufacturers measure how much brightness is emitted from a display. Good to know.) These specs also come with a touchpad, two cameras, and four microphones. All that to bring Snap's world of augmented reality to life. We don't know about all that, but hey, who doesn't want to create the world you want to see? I want to see a world with more chocolate.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Snap, the company behind Snapchat and these weird spectacles, doesn’t have a great track record of respecting their user’s privacy. In 2019, Motherboard reported that Snap had an internal tool that allowed employees to access users’ personal information, including phone number, email, and location. The report claimed the tool, called SnapLion, was abused for “illegitimate reasons to spy on users.” That’s strike one.
Finally, it seems Snap does collect and share a fair amount of users’ information for advertising and targeting purposes. That’s strike three.
What’s the worst that could happen with these AR camera- and microphone-laden spectacles? Well, we suppose you could unknowingly record video of the crowd you’re dancing with at that private party you scored an invite to. You upload that video to the internet, in that crowd is someone in witness protection, they are identifiable in the video and the bad guys who they were hiding from find them and kill them. OK, maybe we’ve watched too many crime dramas. But hey, it could happen, because it’s hard to tell when you’re being recorded by someone wearing smart glasses with a built-in camera.
Tips to protect yourself
- Turn on Login Verification
- Set up two-factor authentification
- Don’t use unauthorized third-party apps
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, birthday, email, phone number, location, photos and camera information
Phonebook (with permission)
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In May 2019, it was reported that Snap's employees have a special tool called SnapLion that can give them access to your location, phone numbers, email addresses, even your saved Snaps — and that some employees have actually abused it to spy on users.
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Snapchat uses some encryption. They reportedly only encrypt Snaps. It's not clear if they fully encrypt text messages or group chats.
Snap runs a bug bounty program.
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