The 5 Point Cafe in Seattle announced via Facebook that they would be banning Google Glass from its premises, even before the device is officially on sale to the public. “For the record, The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses. And ass kickings will be encouraged for violators,” read the announcement.
If you’re wondering why they would be proud of such a thing, let owner Dave Meinert explain why they did it in the first place:
“Part of this is a joke, to be funny on Facebook and get a reaction, but part of it is serious because we don’t let people film other people or take photos unwanted of other people in the bar because it’s kind of a private place people go.”
So it’s part marketing stunt and part actual house rule, but it points towards something that some people probably didn’t think about when they were awing at how awesome the device looks — like it or not, there’s gonna be some privacy issues that Google will have to deal with once this device begins selling to the public.
Ars Technica notes that while the 5 Point Cafe will be banning Google Glass, they’re not banning smartphones which can also take video. That might be due to the difference in how the device is used, when you take a video with your phone, you have to hold it up to the thing you’re taking to get a good view or angle. With Google Glass, you’ll simply just be looking at it as normal.
Now, Google has of course thought about this, as evidenced by the fact that the device has a glowing red light when taking video. But that might not be enough for those who take privacy very seriously (or are just paranoid), a device like this that makes taking video or snapping pictures so easy could raise some privacy issues. Judging from the reaction on the bar’s Facebook page, there were people who were praising the decision and there those who thought it was stupid. There was also people who had no idea what Google Glass even is.
But how exactly these potential privacy issues will play out will have to wait. Google is aiming to release Glass as a consumer product by the end of this year, and it might take awhile before it gets in people’s hands (or heads) — if it does at all.