Mar
10
2013

Are Google Glasses only selectively legal?

Background: a dive bar in Seattle, Washington has preemptively banned the use of Google Glasses in its premises.  Beatings have been (humorously) threatened, and unapologetically so:

“I’m a thought leader,” deadpanned Dave Meinert, the bar’s owner, in an interview on Seattle’s KIRO-FM. “First you have to understand the culture of the 5 Point, which is a sometimes seedy, maybe notorious place. People want to go there and be not known…and definitely don’t want to be secretly filmed or videotaped and immediately put on the Internet.”

Actually, this is a good point, and one that I hadn’t considered off of the top of my head. This innovation in recording technology is fantastic; it’s also a legal minefield, depending on the jurisdiction.  For example, Google Glasses could be considered to be effectively illegal to use in Maryland; this state’s wiretapping laws require that all parties consent to private recordings (the courts have held that cops aren’t automatically protected by this when interacting with the public, but I imagine that a conversation in a bar is a different story).  How do I know that somebody wearing the glasses ISN’T recording me without my consent?  More importantly, how will the courts?

Seriously: I’m not a lawyer, but I’m not sure how Google plans to get around existing jurisdiction-specific restrictions on recording.  Or, honestly, whether I’m missing something here and it’s not going to be a problem at all.

Moe Lane

4 Comments

  • acat says:

    So .. how long before bars start sweeping patrons for electronic gizmos?
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    Also wonder how long it’ll be before “baby tesla coil” devices start hitting the market .. point at the jerk wearing google glasses and zorch* ’em.
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    Mew
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    * technically accurate real word, look it up.

  • Darin_H says:

    Bars? I would think movie theaters/Hollywood would be interested in banning them, because just wearing glasses to the show and recording the whole thing for those sites* that bootleg movies is going to get a lot easier**.
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    *not that I’m admitting to ever seeing one…
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    **insert classical Seinfeldian reference

  • Freddie Sykes says:

    James O’Keefe just got fined $100k for video taping an individual in California without permission. The law differs from state to state.

  • Catseyes says:

    There are private security firms you can hire to come in and sweep for bugs and I was told they can be authorized to leave devices behind to neutralize any bugs their sweep had missed. Not sure of the Tech involved but this was several years back so they probably have better gear now. Don’t know the people or the firms involved it was a different Security level then me. If you don’t understand let me put it this way they were paid WAY more than I was.

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