Innovation 14

On July 10, 2014 I co-presented at the Department of Education, Australian Government Canberra ACT Australia ‘Innovation 14’ event (Thomas 2014) with an audience of 80 face-to-face public servant employees and 11,770 active participants online via desktop web conferencing. Entrepreneur and Director of Paramodic Pty Ltd, Mikaela Griffiths created a Storify website (Griffiths 2014) account to capture all Twitter related messaging on July 10, 2014, which captured a comprehensive view of the many interested parties involved with this technological innovation. The researcher co-presented with Matthew Purcell, Teacher at Canberra Grammar school who had registered as a Google Glass Explorer, returned to Australia and entered into an an agreement with Google to engineer and test applications with his ‘Code Cadets’ (Canberra Grammar School 2017) secondary school students.

I presented a case of the socio-ethical implications with this emergent technology and Matthew provided a case by case example of the use of Google Glass in the high school including using Glass to ‘mark’ or record students as present for class using the camera function networked with the school electronic roll call. This event had been called in light of the fact that leading educational figure including Professor Robert Fitzgerald, University of Canberra

“I think it’s the wearable computers that will be another wave which will need to be acknowledged in a school’s digital strategy...the whole wearable technologies area is rapidly expanding, everything from Google Glass to wearable devices like fitbits...there are schools, teachers and students using digital eyewear overseas and it’s only a matter of time before we’ll start to see that here as well." (Page 2014)

The day before Mikaela Griffiths from Paramodic Pty Ltd sent this open leatter arounf to everyone on her network:

"...Today, many copies of this letter were sent from Paramodic to inboxes around our networks. 

"...As a Cabrogal Woman, and scientist I have been doing some very important work in the realm of wearable technologies specifically as they potentially impact our communities. 

I have just returned from an 8 day trip with Bruce Hammond, son of Ruby Hammond PSM and legal custodian of her story, to South Australia to met with the Commissioner for Aboriginal Engagement, as well as Adnyamathanha Chairperson Vince Coulthard and the Traditional Owners of the South East Aboriginal Focus Group to introduce Google Glass to Country. 

It is now time to share with Aboriginal leaders what the introduction of this device, and others like it means for Country. 

You can see what Google has developed at http://glass.google.com

I acquired the device through our networks so our people, for once, could be properly consulted about the use of this device on Country before it arrives on our shores. Luke Pearson, IndigenousX Ltd is also on our team, broadening the discussion about the impacts of this device, both negative, and positive. 

As you are aware, these units are not sold in Australia commercially, pending privacy considerations and commercial viability. The offshoring of data, potentially including evidence collected through our compliance and enforcement system, is one concern requiring the immediate attention of our people. Equally as important, is the consideration of what the device is engineered to do behind the scenes. 

Advisor to Paramodic, Mr Alexander Hayes, will be presenting this information to the Australian Government's Department of Education tomorrow - http://goo.gl/S0t4mG

I would like the opportunity to meet with you please to discuss the impacts of Google Glass on Country. Specifically, there are issues around privacy and data sovereignty that have the potential to devastate our secret / sacred landscapes, IP and moral Rights, and cultural practices. 

If possible I would like to meet with you to discuss our findings after Walking On Country with this device. I have access to a Glass unit so you can see for yourself the capabilities of the device. 

In the interim, I invite you to view our work at http://www.paramodic.com/how/?category=Data+Management+Plan as well as our commentary on Glass and other wearable devices in the context of Aboriginal Australia at http://www.paramodic.com/glass/

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to a positive response for a meeting with you, or your Senior Advisor on this very urgent issue...."

This letter is derived from a web archive copy at https://web.archive.org/web/20150228105548/http://www.paramodic.com/glass/2014/7/9/an-open-letter