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Will Compliance Officers' New Favorite Tool Be ... Google Glass?

Bruce Carton | April 11, 2013

Over at the American Banker's BankThink blog, Richard Magrann-Wells thinks he may have the perfect solution to the problem of rogue traders and other ne'er-do-well employees: Google Glass.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Google Glass is a wearable computer being developed by Google. It is mounted with a "head-mounted display" that the user wears like space age eyeglasses. It looks like this:

Given that Google Glass can, among many other things, allow the user to record conversations and take photos or video, Magrann-Wells says that perhaps it is time for banks to start forcing traders to strap computers on their heads if they want to reduce the risks associated with rogue traders:

If traders knew that compliance staff was recording and occasionally live-monitoring their trading floor activities from their perspective, could we prevent future multibillion dollar losses? Unlike previous methods of keeping tabs on trading desks, Google's new device will record every conversation and store everything the trader sees.  Would the knowledge that everything we did was being recorded change our behavior?

Magrann-Wells adds that the cost of the hardware and of hiring staff to monitor the conversations and video coming in from the traders' glasses would be offset by the elimination of a single major trading loss. With companies like Wal-Mart paying an average of $604,000 in professional fees and expenses per working day as a result of its FCPA mess in Mexico, the same compliance argument in favor of Google Glass could arguably be made for other public companies.

So, compliance officers, are you ready to outfit your key employees with Google Glass?!