IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Google will block sex and violence from Glass (but hasn't yet)


The only thing less surprising than the sudden appearance of a Google Glass porn app is the fact that the tech giant won't allow such naughtiness on its futuristic headgear for long. No porn, no gambling, no violence, no bullying, no piracy — the folks in Mountain View confirm that they're planning on keeping things clean. That said, the first Glass porn app is still operational — for now.

"Our policies make it clear that Glass does not allow Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts or sexually explicit material," a Google spokesman tells NBC News. "Any Glassware that violates this policy will be blocked from appearing on Glass."

This particular policy stipulation wasn't clear until recently, explained Jesse Adams — co-founder of MiKandi, the adult software company behind the T**s and Glass app which launched on Monday morning — and the Google spokesman acknowledged this, too. Early Glass users are "active participants in evolving Glass ahead of a wider consumer launch," he says. "In keeping with this approach, we've updated our developer policies. We look forward to learning more from our users as we update the software and evolve our policies in the weeks and months ahead."

MiKandi is currently sorting out what to do about all these changes. The T**s and Glass app, which basically allows Glass users to share and view naughty photos, violates the clarified policy, but it's still functional. The company is seeking a way "to comply with the new policies," but if Google decides to enforce its policy, the "dozen Glass users" who have already enabled T**s and Glass would be cut off from their app.

Adams told NBC News that, despite trying to conform to the new order, he hopes "the policies will change back." It doesn't seem as if he and his team should be holding their breath though. Glass is built on Android, so it's not shocking that Google saw it fit to apply some of the policies governing the mobile operating system to Glass as well. The most recent developer policies for Glass make it clear that, along with sexually explicit material, Google won't tolerate violence, bullying, hate speech, illegal activities, gambling, malware, copyright infringement and the like on Glass.

The tech giant also won't allow apps which "use the camera or microphone to cross-reference and immediately present personal information identifying anyone other than the user," meaning that no voice or facial recognition apps will be permitted. (In spite of this, there's already a facial recognition app — which allows medical professionals to identify patients by cross referencing their own databases — available as well. Whether this violates policy or will be viewed as an exception remains to be seen.)

It's not entirely clear just how Google intends to police Glass apps, which at this point can be enabled through Google's control panel or through developers' websites, but according to a source with knowledge of the review process — who asked not to be named because the process hasn't been made public — app approval will likely be similar to the one Google uses for Android apps in the Google Play store. If something "is flagged or comes to Google's attention" — and it happens to violate the company's guidelines — it'll be blocked.

Guess the first rule of the newly established Google Glass porn app club is to not talk about Google Glass porn apps ... or they'll soon be kissing Glass goodbye.

Want more tech news or interesting links? You'll get plenty of both if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.