Data Protection Commission statement concerning Facebook View (glasses)

17th September 2021

Facebook Ireland introduced a new wearable technology product - Facebook View - in collaboration with Ray-Ban glasses in Ireland and Italy this week. Using voice-activated controls, it allows a wearer of the glasses to record short videos and take photos for posting on social media.  

The Irish DPC and the Italian Data Protection Regulator, the Garante, are both concerned about the means by which those captured in the videos and photos can receive notice they are being recorded. While it is accepted that many devices including smart phones can record third party individuals, it is generally the case that the camera or the phone is visible as the device by which recording is happening, thereby putting those captured in the recordings on notice. With the glasses, there is a very small indicator light that comes on when recording is occurring. It has not been demonstrated to the DPC and Garante that comprehensive testing in the field was done by Facebook or Ray-Ban to ensure the indicator LED light is an effective means of giving notice. Accordingly, the DPC and Garante are now calling on Facebook Ireland to confirm and demonstrate  that the LED indicator light is effective for its purpose and to run an information campaign to alert the public as to how this new consumer product may give rise to less obvious recording of their images.