Snapchat Spectacles have been making waves recently, and it’s not just due to their unique delivery system. With any innovative device there comes a series of questions and concerns from the purchasing community at large. Now, Snapchat Spectacles have turned the wearables model on its head and, while receiving praise for the product’s design and overall vision, the company is dealing with a number of potential security issues affecting consumers and unsuspecting passers-by.
Snapchat Spectacles work as follows: the glasses capture 10-second video that transfers wirelessly to your Snapchat account. Simple enough, but while early adopters across the country shoot and post their live action videos, many fail to realize that a major security issue is in play. When these videos are filmed and posted to the Snapchat account, Snapchat Spectacles capture metadata that includes location tracking and facial and voice recognition. Now it should be stated that the same privacy regulations for the Snapchat application apply to the Spectacles. However, using an application isn’t inherently the same as wearing a pair of video-taking glasses; sooner or later there will have to be additional and different security measures. Until that happens, a lot of protected user data could be at risk.
Now this isn’t the industry’s first foray into “wearables” – an easy comparison can be made between Snapchat Spectacles and now-defunct Google Glass. In theory, the idea was simple – a pair of glasses that could capture images and video, while allowing the user to view media on the glass themselves. While they were meant to revolutionize, they fell flat in a big way. One significant difference in their model is that Snapchat has an audience willing to be early adopters – in the US alone around 41% of 18-34 year olds use Snapchat. Another is the price point – while Google Glass stood at a whopping $1,500, Snapchat Spectacles are marked at a much more reasonable $130.
Snapchat Spectacles are very much in their infancy but already are posing a number of pressing security questions for the company and users alike. Until those questions are answered, understanding the security implications that come along with new and innovative products is a major step toward cyber security awareness on a user and business level.