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Why Google Glass Can't Ban Porn Forever

Policies on porn

Google is doing its damnedest to keep porn out of its Google Glass app store, even though nothing can prevent users from nosing on over to their Internet browsers for adult content. If the company's past policies are any indication, Google will have to either allow an alternate channel for pronographic content, or revise its Glass app store policies.

MiKandi's Google Glass porn dilemma

Although Glass was receptive to all kinds of content at first, adult app creator MiKandi learned the hard way that it had a change of heart. After launching "T--s & Glass," the first-ever porn app for Google Glass, MiKandi had to recall it only a few hours later.

"When [Glass' Terms of Use] came out over a year ago, it was a big joke that people would use it for porn," Jesse Adams, co-founder of MiKandi, told us. "All year long, we checked back on the Terms of Use. We checked every day. We made the announcement. No changes."

In fact, Google changed the Google Glass store's Terms of Use without any major announcement, which meant that MiKandi (NSFW) had to withdraw the app once the creators got wind of the change. "We tried calling Google a couple of times, but it was clear that we had done something," Adams said. "They couldn't answer any questions … [When I asked], 'Were we banned?' the answer was literally, 'We cannot say if you were banned or not banned.'"

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For its own part, Google does not appear to have any particular gripe with MiKandi. "Our Explorer Program makes users active participants in evolving Glass ahead of a wider consumer launch," a Google spokesman told us. "In keeping with this approach, we've updated our developer policies."

Google's porn policies

Google is firm in its stance about Glass apps: "Our policies make it clear that Glass does not allow Glassware that contains nudity, graphic sex acts or sexually explicit material. Any Glassware that violates this policy will be blocked from appearing on Glass."

Absent from the policies on Glassware, however, is any discussion of filtering out porn or other Web content on its Internet browser. "Glass is built on Android, so bringing in some of their existing policies makes sense," said the spokesman. Android's Chrome browser does not block sexual content. In all likelihood, this means that a Glass user could not see porn on a Glassware app, but could easily access the explicit components of MiKandi's app through Chrome.