Another Seattle Establishment Bans Google Glass, Doesn't Understand The Tech

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News Posted: Thu, Nov 28 2013 9:45 AM
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”.

Google Glass

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.
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RBloch replied on Thu, Nov 28 2013 12:59 PM

It's their right. Get over it...

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KOwen replied on Thu, Nov 28 2013 2:16 PM

publicity stunt? if so it worked....again

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JesseLiss replied on Thu, Nov 28 2013 2:55 PM

Recording someone in public is not an invasion of privacy. You do not need the person's permission to record them in public either.

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but its not in public its in a private business

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but its not in public its in a private business and if a business says you cant record on private property then its NOT your right to do so

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scolaner replied on Fri, Nov 29 2013 12:42 AM

The issue here isn't so much whether or not a private business can enforce this sort of privacy; it's that it's dumb for them to ban Google Glass when they allow smartphones.

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RBloch replied on Fri, Nov 29 2013 1:36 AM

I meant it's the businesses right to not let you, my bad.

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JesseLiss replied on Fri, Nov 29 2013 1:41 AM

Doesn't matter. If you are outside your home, someone can record you without your permission. The private business can set a policy against it, which is their right. What I'm referring to is the ignorance of the author stating that it is an invasion of privacy. It isn't, it's well within the limits of the law.

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RBloch replied on Fri, Nov 29 2013 2:17 AM

You can record someone on private property is what I meant.

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scolaner replied on Sat, Nov 30 2013 11:03 AM

Being recording without your knowledge or consent is an invasion of privacy whether or not it's legal. But I'm not debating that issue in the post. I'm pointing out the silliness of banning Google Glass while allowing smartphones.

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I think the difference between the glass and a smartphone is it's a lot more apparent when someone is pointing it at you. With Google Glass for instance it would be fairly easy to be standing next to a woman and quickly glance down her shirt. If you did that with a smartphone it would be a lot more difficult.

In the end and regardless of how stupid I think the glass is, you're right. People could always record you and banning this but not a smartphone or a smart watch or hats with cameras in them is stupid.

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