Federal agent yanks man out of cinema for wearing Google Glass

Rochester Optical Google Glass frame

An Ohio man who took his wife to see Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit last weekend had a nasty surprise when a federal agent dragged him out of the movie and subjected him to a lengthy interrogation — all over his choice of eyewear.

As the Gadgeteer explained, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security arrested the man for allegedly using Google Glass to record the movie. Thanks to Hollywood-backed anti-camming laws, such recordings are a serious federal crime but it appears the man, who has not been named, is off the hook.

As it turns out, the Google Glass part of the eyewear was not operational, and the man was instead using them as regular prescription eyewear to watch the movie. As an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, who confirmed the arrest, explained:

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.

This isn’t the first time Google Glass wearers have had a brush with the law: just last week, a Glass-wearing San Diego woman beat a traffic ticket that accused her of watching an illegal monitor while driving. Her defense was also that the eyewear was not turned on.

The Ohio incident shows how the movie industry is already watching Google Glass with trepidation; their fears appear to be based on the fact that it might be easier to record a film with glasses on your face than a camera in your hand.

More broadly, Google Glass is likely to start bumping up against all sorts of other laws related to privacy, safety and intellectual property. Lawmakers may wish to react accordingly.

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