Does Google need to clarify its Glass resale policy?


When Google first started selling Google Glass, availability was highly limited; potential buyers had to make their case for why they should be allowed into the Glass Explorer program, before even getting a chance to fork over $1500 for the wearable. And Google, having gone to all the trouble of cherry picking users like that, made it very clear in the terms of use for Glass that anyone caught renting, selling, or even giving away their headset faced Google remotely deactivating their hardware. But now with Glass availability greatly improved, is that restriction necessary, or even justifiable? A growing market for used Glass hardware is forcing shoppers to worry about just how seriously Google still takes that policy.

Pocketnow Weekly sponsor Swappa just started allowing users to buy and sell Glass through its site, and in announcing this news, it lays out the contradictory situation Google’s created with its Glass rules. The Glass terms of use are still crystal clear about Google reserving the right to deactivate hardware that’s changed hands. But on the flip side, Google’s Glass FAQs explains, “while it’s against our terms of service to sell your device, we don’t plan on disabling any Explorer’s device.”

That makes selling Glass sound pretty safe, at least on first pass. But further ambiguity with the choice of language there doesn’t help the situation any: are only those shoppers who got their Glass from Google considered capital-e Explorers, or do you become an Explorer merely by possessing Glass – so would second-hand owners fall under the same umbrella?

While we can understand why Google might want to keep things like this, permitting casual Glass sales but retaining the ammunition it would need to go after a reseller perceived to be a “bad actor” for one reason or another, this is still an unfortunately nuanced gray area to leave your users in. Why not just change the terms of use, if they no longer correspond with official Google policy?

Source: Swappa, Google 1,2
Via: Phandroid

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!