While there have been cases of Google Glass wearers being told they must remove them to enter anywhere from bars to workplaces, and even one ticketed by police for wearing them while driving, you wouldn’t generally expect wearing them on a night out to lead to being questioned by the Department of Homeland Security. But that’s exactly what happened to one man, who wore a pair of prescription Glass to a movie theatre, in an email to The Gadgeteer.
About an hour into the movie, a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says “follow me outside immediately”. It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops …
Movie Theater staff apparently called the authorities, believing that the Google Explorer was illegally recording the movie. He was eventually able to demonstrate that Glass had been switched off, but not before an apparently aggressive interview lasting an hour and eventual examination of the stored recordings – which did not include the movie.
I kept telling them that Glass has a USB port and not only did I allow them, I actually insist they connect to it and see that there was nothing but personal photos with my wife and my dog on it. I also insisted they look at my phone too and clear things out, but they wanted to talk first. They wanted to know who I am, where I live, where I work, how much I’m making, how many computers I have at home, why am I recording the movie, who am I going to give the recording to, why don’t I just give up the guy up the chain, ’cause they are not interested in me. Over and over and over again.
Khaalid Walls, a Public Affairs Officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), confirmed that the event took place, though suggests a rather different timescale.
On Jan. 18, special agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and local authorities briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an electronic recording device to record a film at an AMC theater in Columbus. The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been inactive. No further action was taken.
We suspect this won’t be the last time Glass will lead to some interesting conversations with officials.