Russian security service FSB said the new smart glasses launched by Facebook and Ray-Ban are a possible “spy gadget” – a designation that could ban their sale in Russia.
The social media giant and iconic eyewear brand launched “Ray-Ban Stories” in September, offering a wireless connection to Facebook as well as voice-activated photo and video capabilities. A white light on the front of the frames illuminates when a camera is in use, designed as a privacy feature to alert people nearby that they might be on camera.
But the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said the futuristic smart glasses could serve as a means “to secretly obtain information”, the TJournal tech news website reported, citing the FSB press service.
Glasses are not sold on the Russian market. If they are formally banned, Russians who attempt to buy them online could face criminal charges, TJournal reported.
There have been several high-profile incidents in which Russians have been prosecuted for purchasing widely available consumer technology online in recent years.
A Siberian skier has been found guilty in 2019 of “illicit trafficking” of spy equipment after purchasing a pair of $ 30 ski goggles with an integrated camera on a Chinese online marketplace.
In 2018, a Russian farmer was stopped for purchasing Chinese GPS trackers to help locate stray cattle. He was released after a public outcry.
The Supreme Court of Russia subsequently ruled that people could not be prosecuted for purchasing spy gadgets if they were “wrong about their real purpose,” and lawmakers drafted a number of exceptions to it. the list of prohibited devices.
AFP contributed to the report.