The Nine Commandments of Google Glass won't stop people being people

The nine commandments of Google Glass have been issued to us by our great and benevolent overseer, delivered not so much on stone tablets as direct to your tablet's screen.

Thou shalt not be creepy, Mountain View decrees. Thou shalt only film people using Glass when you have their explicit permission. Thou shalt not be a dick.

And now that we have these clear guidelines there will be no more problems with people abusing Google Glass, just as there are no more murders or coveting of others' wives and oxes, and the Sabbath day is kept as holy as it has ever been.

People power

"Google's not our dad, we don't need it to tell us not to be an asshole."

Unfortunately for Google, there's no accounting for people. You give people rules, then people are going to break them.

Phone makers don't tell us "don't use your phone to be a creep" because we already know we ought not to. We know it's rude to have one eye on our phones while we're out with friends or watching a film, but we do it anyway. We know we shouldn't take photos of old men we don't know on the tube who just happen to look like an old Luigi but we do it because, guys, come on! Imagine the retweets!

Google's not our dad, we don't need it to tell us not to be an asshole. But the subtext of Google's patronising guidelines is that Explorers do need to be told this stuff, which speaks volumes about what people are already doing with Glass.

Glass makes it easier to be a weirdo - you've strapped a computer to your face so you're already a bit unusual as far as the status quo is concerned. But because you can "stand alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass" while looking like a person who just stands alone staring at people without recording them means you can be hidden in plain sight.

The fact that Google thinks you need "don't be a creep" spelled out to you is patronising. And it's doing it because you're letting the side down - you need to be a better advocate of Google Glass, is what it's saying. It actually is what it says: "Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass" shortly after advising you to give complete strangers unsolicited demos of your smart glasses. You paid out thousands for Glass? You work for Google now.

A List

And what does Google think of its own product? It thinks Glass is SO great, SO addictive that you'll want to "glass-out" and read War and Peace on it. It thinks you'll be constantly harangued by intrigued onlookers interrupting your romantic dinner to ask you what it's all about, as though wearing Glass has instantly made you into an A-lister.

Seriously, it says: "If you're worried about someone interrupting that romantic dinner at a nice restaurant with a question about Glass, just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag." Bro, if you're at a romantic dinner at a nice restaurant and you're wearing Glass, you're already doing it all wrong.

Google can hand down as many commandments, guidelines, rules and laws as it likes, it can get us to sign service agreements and tick boxes next to reams of Ts&Cs we'll never actually read. But people are going to use Glass however they want, just as they use their phones to take selfies at funerals, their laptops to download films illegally, their notebooks to write impure thoughts and their kitchen implements in ways their manufacturers did not originally intend.

After all, we do still have some free will. Google can't control our minds. Yet.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.