Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 142, Issue 1, pp 71–82 | Cite as

Personalized Ad in Your Google Glass? Wearable Technology, Hands-Off Data Collection, and New Policy Imperative



This study analyzes the increasing presence and capabilities of wearable computing devices in the cornucopia of personalized digital data. We argue that the institutional data practices typical of Google Glass will pose policy challenges and herald yet another dramatic shift to personalized data marketing. We also highlight the characteristics of Google’s existing synergetic data practices that will shape the development of not only Google Glass, but also all subsequent wearable mobile devices in light of 360-degree data collection. The key organizing concept of our study is the disjuncture between (1) institutional and (2) policy forces in harnessing dual market mechanism, which frames how the new communication industry operates in the marketplace of ubiquitous personal advertising. We conclude by summarizing the three key areas of political-policy concern (privacy; anti-trust; and user competence) and suggest future solutions, with the discussion on the future of wearable computing practices related to the freedom of the human body.


Database-marketing surveillance Wearable technology Personalization Privacy Algorithm-based business model New media policy 


  1. Ashworth, L., & Free, C. (2006). Marketing dataveillance and digital privacy: Using theories of justice to understand consumers’ online privacy concerns. Journal of Business Ethics, 67(2), 107–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brin, S., & Page, L. (1998). The anatomy of a large-scale hypertextual Web search engine. In Proceedings of the seventh international conference on World Wide Web (pp. 107–117), 14–18 April 1998, Brisbane, Australia.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, A. J. (1998). Self-regulation and the media. Federal Communications Law Journal, 51, 711.Google Scholar
  4. Campbell, S. W., & Park, Y. J. (2008). Social implications of mobile telephony: The rise of personal communication society. Sociology Compass, 2(2), 371–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Danna, A., & Gandy, O. H., Jr. (2002). All that glitters is not gold: Digging beneath the surface of data mining. Journal of Business Ethics, 40(4), 373–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Davidoff, S. (2013, June 18). Google’s effort to skirt regulation may invite more scrutiny. The New York Times, p. B9.Google Scholar
  7. Economist. (2010, February 25). Data, data everywhere. Special Report: Managing Information. Retrieved from
  8. Fallows, D. (2005). Search engine users: Internet users are very positive about their online search experiences. Pew Research Internet Project, January 23, 2005.Google Scholar
  9. FTC. (2012). FTC strengthens kids’ privacy, gives parents greater control over their information by amending childrens online privacy protection rule. Press Release, Dec 19, 2012. Retrieved from
  10. Gandy, O. H. (2012). Coming to terms with chance: Engaging rational discrimination and cumulative disadvantage. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.Google Scholar
  11. Google. (2013). What it doesGoogle Glass. Retrieved from
  12. Hargittai, E. (2008). The digital reproduction of inequality. In D. Grusky (Ed.), Social stratification (pp. 936–944). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hindman, M. (2007). “Open-source politics” reconsidered: Emerging patterns in online political participation. In V. Mayer-Schönberger & D. Lazer (Eds.), From electronic government to information government (pp. 183–207). Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kang, J. (1998). Information privacy in cyberspace transactions. Stanford Law Review, 50(4), 1193–1294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kanter, J. (2013, February 1). Google makes offer in 3-year European antitrust case. The New York Times, pp. 2, B2.Google Scholar
  16. Larson, J., Glanz, J., & Lehren, A. (2014, January 27). Spy agencies probe angry birds and other apps for personal data. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  17. Lessig, L. (1999). Code and other laws of cyberspace. New York: Basic books.Google Scholar
  18. Litman, J. (2000). Information privacy/information property. Stanford Law Review, 52(5), 1283–1313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Maclaren, S. (2014, June 28). The Supreme Court’s baffling tech illiteracy is becoming a problem. Salon. Retrieved from
  20. Napoli, P. M. (2001). Foundations of communications policy. New York: Fordham University.Google Scholar
  21. Negroponte, N. (1995). Being digital. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  22. Neuman, W. R. (1991). The future of mass audience. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Neuman, W. R., McKnight, L., & Solomon, R. J. (1993). The politics of a paradigm shift: Telecommunications regulation and the communications revolution. Political Communication, 10(1), 77–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Neuman, W. R., Park, Y. J., & Panek, E. (2012). Tracking the flow of information into the home: An empirical assessment of the digital revolution in the US from 1960–2005. International Journal of Communication, 6, 1022–1041.Google Scholar
  25. Park, Y. J. (2011). Provision of Internet privacy and market conditions: An empirical analysis. Telecommunications Policy, 35(7), 650–662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Park, Y. J. (2013). Offline status, online status: Reproduction of social categories in personal information skill and knowledge. Social Science Computer Review, 31(6), 680–702.Google Scholar
  27. Park, Y. J. (2015a). My whole world’s in my palm! The second-level divide of teenagers’ mobile use and skill. New Media & Society, 17(6), 977–995.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Park, Y. J. (2015b). Do men and women differ in privacy? Gendered privacy and (in)equality in the Internet. Computers in Human Behavior, 50, 252–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Park, Y. J., & Jang, S. M. (2014). Understanding privacy knowledge and skill in mobile communication. Computers in Human Behavior, 38, 296–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pool, I. d. S. (1977). The social impact of telephone. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  31. Pool, I. d. S. (1983). Technologies of freedom. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.Google Scholar
  32. Purcell, K. (2012, Feburary, 2012). Search engine use survey. Pew Internet & American Life.Google Scholar
  33. Robinson, N., Graux, H., Botterman, M., & Valeri, L. (2009). Review of the European data protection directive. Cambridge: Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), RAND.Google Scholar
  34. Samuelson, P. (2000). Privacy as intellectual property? Stanford Law Review, 52(5), 1125–1173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sandvig, C. (2007). Network neutrality is the new common carriage. Info, 9(2/3), 136–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Solove, D. J. (2001). Privacy and power: Computer databases and metaphors for information privacy. Stanford Law Review, 53(6), 1393–1462.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stampler, L. (2013). Advertisers can’t stop thinking about the Google Glass ‘pay per gaze’ patent. Business Insider. Retrieved from
  38. Stead, B. A., & Gilbert, J. (2001). Ethical issues in electronic commerce. Journal of Business Ethics, 34(2), 75–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Strickenland, J. (2013). Why is the Google algorithm so important? How stuff works. Retrieved from
  40. Sunstein, C. R. (2009). 2.0. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Timberg, C., & King, C. (2013, June 18). Google challenges U.S. gag order, citing First Amendment. Washington Post. Retrieved from
  42. Turow, J. (1997). Breaking up America: Advertisers and the new media world. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Turow, J., Carpini, M., & Draper, N. (2012). Americans roundly reject tailored political advertising at a time when political campaigns are embracing it. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School of Communication.Google Scholar
  44. Vaidhyanathan, S. (2012). The Googlization of everything (and why we should worry). Berkeley, CA: Univ of California Press.Google Scholar
  45. Vetter, G. R. (2006). Exit and voice in free and open source software licensing: Moderation the rein over software users. Oregon Law Review, 85, 183–274.Google Scholar
  46. Wagstaff, K. (2014). Give me your Google Glass and nobody gets hurt! NBC News. Retrived from
  47. Wasik, B. (2013, December 17). Why wearable tech will be as big as the smartphone. Wired. Retrieved from
  48. Wu, T. (2003). Network neutrality, broadband discrimination. Journal of Telecommunications and High Technology Law, 2(1), 141–179.Google Scholar
  49. Wu, T. (2011). The master switch: The rise and fall of information empires. New Jersey: Random House LLC.Google Scholar
  50. Yan, M. Z., & Napoli, P. M. (2006). Market competition, station ownership, and local public affairs programming on broadcast television. Journal of Communication, 56(4), 795–812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Howard UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.City University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong

Personalised recommendations