I recall an anecdote about a fellow that got his house wired with electricity way back when. Workers installed wiring and sockets, but the man didn’t have any light bulbs yet, so he screwed a potato onto the light socket to prevent the electricity from leaking out all over the place. That’s the image I have any time someone just doesn’t understand a given technology. (In fairness, sometimes I’m the potato guy.)
Thus, that’s also the image that came to mind when word broke that another Seattle establishment
banned Google Glass
. This one is the Lost Lake Cafe & Lounge, which apparently is owned by the same guy (Dave Meinert) that owns the 5 Point that banned the device earlier this year.
“We recently had to ask a rude customer to leave because of their insistence on wearing and operating Google
Glasses inside the restaurant,” reads a post on the cafe’s Facebook page. Here’s Lost Lake’s new official policy on Google Glass:
We kindly ask our customers to refrain from wearing and operating Google Glasses inside Lost Lake. We also ask that you not videotape anyone using any other sort of technology. If you do wear your Google Glasses inside, or film or photograph people without their permission, you will be asked to stop, or leave. And if we ask you to leave, for God's sake, don't start yelling about your "rights". Just shut up and get out before you make things worse.
On the one hand, there’s a very valid point that a user of Google Glass could take images and video of people in the restaurant, potentially without them knowing, and that’s an invasion of privacy
. On the other hand, you could copy and paste the preceding sentence and replace “Google Glass” with “any smartphone”.
It just demonstrates that the Dave Meinerts of the world don’t really understand the technology. If you’d ever used Google Glass (as we were fortunate to do recently
), you’d realize that it requires essentially the same amount of fiddling to start recording video or snap a photo that any phone does.
Sure, the main difference between a smartphone and Google Glass is that you wear one on your face and can record what you look at, but that’s actually more conspicuous than just pretending that you’re checking your phone and surreptitiously recording someone.
Some may point out that Lost Lake’s policy includes a ban on recording others using any device, but to that I say that if privacy was really a concern, the ban would have been in place years before anyone ever even thought about a device such as Google Glass. This whole thing is just about people not really understanding a new technology.