Google Glass

Bar owner was excited to see the technology, some of the patrons, however, were not

Bay area resident Sarah Slocum says she was verbally and physically assaulted at Molotov's on Haight Street in San Francisco Friday night, and it was because she was wearing Google Glass. Slocum was able to retrieve her Glass unit during a fist fight between her attacker and her male companion, but her handbag and her cell phone are still missing.

Witnesses say the bar owner and several of the patrons were excited to see a demonstration of the new technology. During the demonstration, other patrons expressed their displeasure at the possibility of being recorded by throwing dirty bar rags and firing off insults to Slocum. One of the unhappy barflies then grabbed the Google Glass unit and pulled it off Slocum's face. Her companion retailiated with his fists, and during the scuffle Slocum was able to retreive her Google Glass.

Police are looking for the gentleman who pulled Slocum's Glass off her face, and the fact that she was showing other patrons how Glass can record video will come in handy. Hopefully there's a nice, clear picture of the fellow for the police to have a look at.

Growing pains are one thing, but this is taking it a bit too far. Two things need remembered here — your right to "privacy" stops the minute you're in a public place, and violence is never the right reaction. Hopefully, the perpetrator is found and punished accordingly. Wanting the government to make Google Glass "illegal" in public is one thing, but taking the law into your own hands is another.

Source: CBS Local San Francisco


Reader comments

San Francisco woman attacked and robbed for wearing Google Glass in a bar


I think Google should change the way how the camera works if it is such an issue. Make 2 editions of glass maybe? One with and without camera. Or include a record light next to the lens.

posted from my VZW g2

Sigh. Google Glass has a light that comes on when recording is taking place. Maybe if people, not aiming this at you (okay, maybe just a little), better informed themselves there wouldn't be issues like the one in the article.

Oh, and according to a Glass user I've spoken with at length, you can tell you're being photographed or recorded because in the "lens" you can see a mirror image.

So, for those keeping score at home.

1. A light comes on when using the device to record.
2. You can see yourself in the lens when picture or video is being taken/recorded.

The more you know...

People don't just know that though. Especially someone who possibly has never heard of or seen glass before, like the crazy dude at the bar. I'm not defending him in any way, but you can't expect people to just know that. I for one didn't know that. I just don't read up on it as much as you do. Or know people who have glass.

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But you would think maybe he should ask if it's recording before he thows a fit. If you don't understand something isn't it best to understand it before you make a judgement. How is one suppose to know anything if one never asks a question.

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Oh I totally agree with that. There were better ways about this, no doubt. And who knows if intoxication was involved too. But I'm just saying in general, you can't expect people to just know.

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This is EFFING Crazy. This would be like Attacking people at the Zoo, or Foodies who record Restaurant's and their atmosphere's, along with the food with their camera phones.

Everyone has a Camera phone now and Glass is NO Different. Except people are used to camera phones now. It's actually more inconspicuous to record others with a smart phone now because they are so accepted.

Exactly. If someone pulls a video camera out of their backpack at the beach and starts pointing it at girls, people should ask if it's recording before they throw a fit.

Apparently you've never been to California. People take pictures and videos at the beach all the time. Stalking is one thing, but this article is right, there is no privacy in public places.

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The problem is that there are a bunch of people walking around (literally and figuratively on the internet) saying "Glass can record you without your knowledge, and that a violation of your privacy! We've got to stop this!" and the people who don't know any better are believing them, even those neither of those two assertions are true.

Then isn't the solution obvious? Find all the idiots saying such things and enlighten the ones listening to them.

It's what I was doing over on The Verge for awhile, til I quit the site that is.

Agreed, but these kinds of "scare" stories always seem to go viral, and they're really hard to stop once people have already decided to be scared of something.

Completely. Agree.

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We can Thank all of this To FoxNews and other similar sites.

FYI FoxNews is actually registered as an entertainment site and not a news site so it can get away with telling lies, a news site would be held accountable for misreporting the news constantly, that is how they get around it.

It doesn't matter, most people simply don't care to learn anything they don't already know. It's easier to emulate what they see on reality tv, take matters into their own hands and start a fight. Main stream media pours fuel on the fire by glorifying ignorance, stupidity, over-the-top machismo and inciting mistrust, hatred and division of one group from another.

(not aimed at bangishotyou....just a good place to reply)
People, we are already on camera a good portion of our lives....why do you care?? Also, my cellphone has way more capability of invading your privacy than glass, so stop targeting a tech just because you can't afford it and that angers you....damn haters!! I don't have one either, for the record, but as soon as I can get one I will. And I'm not going to use it in the way any of you tin foil hat wearers think I may, because (I hope you're sitting down for this revelation, because it's a doozy....) I just don't care what the hell you had for dinner last night, or where your Aunt Marge went to get a foot scrub....I couldn't give less of a rat's ass!!! So please stop with the bullshit propaganda about how this invades people's privacy....that ship sailed years ago when the US Government was formed.

You're missing the point. This article isn't about Glass recording anything or anybody. It's about some asshole who assaulted a woman that did not assault him first

That's ridiculous. The camera is a huge part of Glass, and it would be very crippling to remove it.

It's not like before glass, people didn't have those small devices with a 1080P camera pointing towards you all the time, while you assumed they were chatting or candy crushing.

They may have been fans of Apple. But in all seriousness this is getting ridiculous. Robbing someone because if Google glass. What's wrong with society these days? It's sad.

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I don't really understand why people are so up in arms about Google Glass recording them. There are a lots of ways to secretly record people that are much less conspicuous than wearing huge dorky glasses with a glowing recording light on them.

I can tell you why people are up in arms. A handful of reasons.

1. Google is involved. They don't need anything beyond that. "Google is making a device that can do what thousands of other devices can do? I AM ENRAGED BY THIS! RAWR!"

2. People are uninformed (and almost proud of it) about Google Glass. They don't know anything about it, beyond "it might take my picture and steal my soul in the process". Nor do they wish to know anything about it.

3. They feel that their right to privacy cannot be curtailed at all. Ever. Especially when they're in public. (The law on the matter has been settled for some time now though. If you are in public, you have no legal expectation of privacy. With a handful of exceptions, usually related to restrooms and private establishments.)

4. People don't really need a reason to hate on anything nowadays. Glass is just an easy target. (That there are tons of devices that can do what it does on a much cheaper financial basis is irrelevant and in a far more subtle way is irrelevant.)

A true coward hurts a woman.

That being said, even if you're in a public place, you should still be able to ask not to be recorded (voice or video) and people should respect that.

I am in NO WAY condoning violence on women or justify these peoples' reactions. Not one bit.
What I'm saying is we ALL need to make sure we a empathetic to one another as technology like this becomes more common.

While I understand the angle you're coming from, nothing Just_Some_Nobody said would indicate that he or she was OK with violence against man. All they said was that violence against a woman is a bad thing. It does not automatically follow that such person feels other violence is OK.

"That being said, even if you're in a public place, you should still be able to ask not to be recorded (voice or video) and people should respect that."

Exactly. Some of the arguments here regarding no legal expectation of privacy in public are a red herring. First off, privacy laws vary state and by country. So, there is no universal definition of expectation of privacy. Second, audio is not implicitly covered under any legality around visual recording. So even if video recording is allowed, audio recording could require permission.

In the U.S. taking photos and videos is legal in public places. But there's a difference between being out "in public" (i.e., not your home) and being in a public location like a park, street, etc. Recording without consent is not implicitly legal in private establishments, like restaurants or bars, such as where this woman was at. This is why you don't see photos of celebrities from within the restaurant. And these establishments can have their own rules on the matter. And even if the photos are taken legally, there can be restrictions around how the photos are used; non-"editorial" usage might require permission.

Also, while people might legally have a right to record others without consent, this does not grant them protection from the social ramifications of doing so, as long as these social ramifications are legal. In this case, the physical reaction seems like assault (probably exacerbated by alcohol), which isn't allowed. But, there would have been nothing wrong if the man asked her to stop recording him specifically or if others expressed their displeasure at her recording and complained to management. And singling someone out, following them around, etc., could be considered harassment that warrants a restraining order.

Did I miss the part where the article revealed any information about whether or not the Glass user was deliberately following the other patron around, or otherwise harassing them, or that the offended party politely requested anything prior to the snatch and grab? Obviously some of the other patrons were unhappy (throwing dirty bar rags and firing off insults), but since when is it my fault that uninformed drunk people are dicks?

You wanna f*ck an entire city? Bring a lot of condoms, lol.

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Not sure exactly what went down just by reading the article. But it sounds like the Glass wearer was acting a bit like a "Glasshole" prompting a bad response. So not all that surprised with the response she got considering the type of environment she was in. Appears she bears some of the blame (not that I condone the reaction to her).

Actually, that is a perfect analogy. In the United States, the law protects people by allowing them to be assholes as long as their behavior is not excessive and can't be considered true harassment. You can ignore, leave, or ask the manager to ask the offending party to leave. Except in extreme circumstances, the person committing the assault bears 100% of the blame, whether the assault is merely physical or sexual in nature.

QED, asking for it because skirt.

Her "male companion" needs to hit the weight room. And might I say, let's give a nice slow clap to the other patrons that clearly didn't lift a finger to keep someone from getting assaulted. People suck.

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Tell me about it! I'm sitting here thinking, OK, the dude got away and got away with some of her valuables when we know by the story there were multiple patrons around them because she was showing off her glass. And no one bothered to do a thing other than her companion... And he clearly didn't help much.

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The bystander effect definitely is a social problem: "No one else seems to be reacting to must be normal!" But assuming people necessarily knew what was going on and just didn't react is jumping to conclusions. Maybe they thought those involved all knew each other.

But I agree that's the problem with these situations: people understandably want to know more about the situation before deciding whether to get involved. However, that often isn't practical before the window of opportunity to help has passed.

Yeah you're right. We can't say for sure what actually happened. But based on details, you'd really think something more could have been done.

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People can do weird things when it comes to tech they don't understand. I had someone knock my Galaxy Nexus out of my hand and try to stomp on it once because I used Tap to Pay at a McDonald's. He believed I was stealing everyone's private credit card data with my phone.
I just don't understand why people resort to violence because they won't take the time to understand new tech, or just don't care. This is getting crazy.

OMG! Hahahaha!!!!! Sorry you had to experience that, but still.... hahaha. What did the person say after you explained?

You are beyond help if you think "rights" are the currency of maintaining a civil society. Just because you have the right to record me when I step outdoors in a hurry, not fully clothed to drop off my garbage in time for the garbage man, doesn't mean I won't beat the shit out of you for doing it.

If someone doesn't want to be recorded, a decent human being would accommodate that onerous request, not insist that it is their "right".

That's why you live in a litigious society instead of a decent one.

Agreed. That means that whether or not I have the "right" to, I should just beat the living sh*t out of bb10fanatic for looking at me wrong.

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"...doesn't mean I won't beat the shit out of you for doing it." Emphasis on the fact that you just stated, knowingly I might add, that you are aware of the legal lack of privacy when in public and someone's legal right to record you while in public and that you would assault them anyway.

Yeah, you are totally one to tell others what constitutes "a decent human being". /s

Especially when the only illegal thing in his scenario is the part where he assaults someone.

I guarantee, when you go to a bar or something, you are caught (innocently, unintentionally) in the background of a dozen different people's photos. Is that grounds for assaulting them?

"Is that grounds for assaulting them?" In BB10fanatic's world it most certainly is. Luckily, I'm a strict pacifist. So in mine it isn't. "You snapped my picture? Damnit! You are legally allowed to! Oh well, no actual harm done. I shall have another drink!"

And yeah, that's why I mentioned that. He specifically points out that someone can legally snap his picture outside, but since he doesn't like that he's going to assault them. Talk about a serious case of misplaced finger wagging.

Completely agree.

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The next time you take a picture of a friend or loved one, make sure that no one else is in the picture. Because, if your logic were the norm, then you'd probably get the sh*t beat outta you.

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Small people who think they will look tough by threatening to "beat" anyone for doing anything that displeases them.


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I agree to a certain point. No one has the right to put their hands on anoter person, no matter what the disagreement is about, but just because its legal to record in public doesnt mean you cant be respectful and make sure people are ok with what you are doing.
We are all tech heads and are excited about this wearable device but like it or not, it is a bit intrusive. There is no warning or (for lack of better terms) no heads up that you may br on someones candid camera. And yes, that is an assumption, but society always assumes the worst first.

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Decency must be enforced, because people like you exist. You make a mistake running outside with your dick swinging and then think the decent response is to "beat the shit" out of somebody for pointing out your mistake.

This is why you're an asshole of an idiot and not a decent one.

Something to remember is that a bar isn't a public place - it is a private establishment. As a photographer, I can take photos outdoors and have the right due to being in public, but I have to obtain permission to photograph inside someone's business. To say they were in a public place is incorrect.

But, she did have the owner/manager's permission to record within the establishment. That means any expectation of privacy is no longer valid (expectation of privacy is what makes it illegal to photograph in a bathroom). That being said, she had the right to turn it on, and those who didn't want to be recorded had the option to turn their back or leave. Theft and assault are definitely not the answer.

A venue open to the public is a public place. If you have a garage sale, your garage is a public place during that time.

The laws are very specific.

Even accepting that, doesn't the owner of the establishment have the right to forbid recordings?

Regardless, the owner clearly knew, understood, and encouraged her to record, so it doesn't really matter anyway. All the owner giving permission did was remove the patron's third course of action which would have been to ask the manager to ask her to leave.

Any space which is open and available to the public is a "public place". I have even seen "members only" establishments classified as a "public" building. Being in "public" pretty much means any place other than the one you live in.

"your right to "privacy" stops the minute you're in a public place"

Really? If want to drink a beer in a bar, everybody has to know it? Anybody can record me in video because they want?

What you do if you're with your wife and your daughters in the beach? Can anybody blatantly film then? They're showing-off too much skin, but they're in a public place, you know. Would you agree with that? I bet you won't.

Would you just beat the living sh*t out of someone that was taking a picture or video in a public place? What if the person were using a smartphone vice Google Glass? Would that change things? I'm pretty sure, at one time or another, your picture was inadvertently taken by someone in a public place, because you just happened to be there at that moment. Would you beat the living sh*t out of them?

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Actually, I do agree with that. *You* should have a problem letting your daughter go to the beach "showing too much skin". I'm not even getting into the argument of having a problem with your wife showing too much skin. Do you have any idea how many times during your average day you are recorded on video? Because it sounds like you might lose your lunch if you knew.

And no, just because you went to the bar, everybody doesn't have to "know it". But if I'm also there, I know it. I can see you. And you're probably already being recorded by the bar's surveillance camera, too. There's a good possibility that you'll be accidentally snapped in the background of some random patron's cell phone photo with their BFF, too.

We're not talking about someone trying to advertise your whereabouts in the internet. But even if that's what she had been doing, it still wouldn't have been illegal. A-holeish, sure, but not illegal.

You know what is illegal, though? Assault.

Your right to privacy LEGALLY does stop the minute you're in a public place.

And no, if you want to drink a beer in a bar that DOES NOT mean everybody has to know about it. It DOES NOT, however, mean you can prevent people from LEGALLY taking your picture or filming you. And it's not that anybody can record you just because they want. It's that they legally, as in the law says it's okay to do so, can record you. Incidentally (if you're in the background and not the subject of the actual recording) or otherwise.

You're in public. You have no right to privacy. (To reiterate the point that you seem to have issue understanding.)

Anybody actually can blatantly film someone else's wife or daughters at the beach. Too much skin or not. It doesn't make it right or mean you should be fine with it, it just means that the law says that's allowed. I personally wouldn't agree with it, but I am an adult. I could ask my wife and daughter to leave with me if THEY personally felt uncomfortable. (Since I don't own them, they have some say in the matter.)

You should rethink your awful hypothetical examples. Public = You can be photographed or recorded. Whether you like it or not. Don't like it? Stay inside your home.

Yes, anyone can film your wife and daughter on a beach. You can alert the police, they will not be able to stop them. You can try to physically stop them, but then they can alert the police and you can be taken to jail. Same thing with the bar. It's called a free society.

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This is just ridiculous, if these stupid people who think they are being recorded tech would know glass has a light on to indicate when it's recorded. Some people are just stupid beyond belief.

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Our society is falling apart.

I'm sorry, but failure of the other patrons to stop the assault and robbery of a woman is just as bad as having done it themselves.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a law to help a person in distress if you're capable of doing so? Don't kill me if I'm wrong about this but I swear I remember that from somewhere.

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I believe, in some states it is. Hell, if I had my way, it'd be a national law. This. Is. Ridiculous. I'm becoming even more enraged by the second. I hope they catch this guy.

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Yeah that's like my biggest problem with this whole thing. Its one thing for this to happen. But its another for no one to to anything about it...come on.

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True, but someone could possibly have retrieved the woman's belongings, without becoming part of the ensuing brawl.

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No, most places do not make it the law to help a person in distress. There are laws protecting you from certain damages when helping someone (usually called "Good Samaritan Laws"). However, civil cases (lawsuits) are frequently applied to bystanders who can be show to witness something and not help.

That was Seinfeld. The law can't require you to risk life or limb in the aid of another. That would be a fundamental breach of your rights.

Actually, depending on the country your 'right to privacy' doesn't stop just because you left your house. In the UK, Google had to blur faces on Streetview because people were being filmed and photographed against their will. If you attend a concert, they have to place signs warning you may be filmed for a concert DVD etc.

Not just the UK, Google Streetview was temporarily blocked in Germany and Switzerland because of the same issue.

So yes, if I saw someone with Google Glasses, I'd be weary incase they started to record me. I know there's a light, but once they start then they have footage or photos of me, without my permission, and if someone takes a photo of you in the streets I have every right legally to demand they delete the photo. Violence is not the answer, no, but neither is believing it to be perfectly fair that you lose all privacy the moment you step outside the door.

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It sounds like those terms are because the rest of the world is debating making it illegal for people to look at each other.

Google did not *have* to blur photos in the UK they chose to to avoid privacy *concerns* and avoid a backlash.

In public there is no automatic right to not be photographed, the police do it regularly and so do protesters back to the police. There are some laws regarding harassment which are a bit stronger than the USA and also using images for commercial use.

You have no right to demand someone deletes a photograph if you are in it. You could report them to the police and tell the police they were a terrorist or paedophile and you might get the person taken away but you will also be arrested later for wasting police time and being an idiot.

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Additionally, people seem to be confusing just taking pictures with using pictures for commercial gain. That's the only reason you have to sign a waiver to not be blurred when you show off your goodies on Girls Gone Wild. It's just releasing them from any financial obligation to you after you get your t-shirt.

The concert signs are due to the fact that the images will be used for commercial use - websites, video etc and so may be subject to needing release forms etc not because they are taking your photo per se.

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Violence, the gal's companion through the first punch LOL. Get your story right.

On a side note, I'd hope bars start putting signs up not allowing them, just like for guns.

Even if that is so, if the woman was harassed and robbed first, then that doesn't absolve the aggressor of what he did. Period.

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Some people's sense of justice just escapes me, lol.

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Assault is not necessarily hitting someone. When the first person touched the woman wearing Goggle Glass device, an assault was committed.

As silly as it may sound, even throwing the rag at her might be considered assault. I had a lawyer tell me one time that intentionally blowing cigarette smoke in someone's face was grounds for "assault".

EDIT: That sounded bad. lol. It was a friend of mine and we were discussing how little "interaction" was required before it was considered assault by a legal definition.

Her companion threw a punch.... There's your problem right there. Sure, someone pulled her Google Glass off her face. But once a punch was thrown there was no where for the situation to go except badly!

But, she was still robbed... Does that make her companion more guilty than the guy that robbed her?

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I agree.

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Snatch something off of my wife's face, and you'll see what a bad situation really is.

I'm pretty easy-going, but if you assault my family, you'll meet the dirty end of a three foot hickory cane with zero hesitation. You'll wish it were just a punch at that moment.

And I'm tame. Plenty of other people defend their family with the second amendment.


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The problem in your comment is the backwards wording. Someone pulled her Google Glass off her face FIRST. Or, if you'd prefer, someone violated her person BEFORE her companion threw a punch. Which legally is allowed in defense of yourself (or a companion). The person who took Glass off her face instigated the entire assault from the get go. That is what a court of law would determine. Rightfully and legally so at that.

Some drunk people in bars are looking for anything to start a fight over. It's not the first time people have been attacked in a bar for stupid reasons.

This incident has nothing to do with Glass as much as it has everything to do with the attitude of San Francisco residents, especially those angry about how tech companies and their employees are supposedly ruining the city.

This. They probably heard the word "Google" and went ape sh*t.

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Some of the witness comments quoted in articles even alluded to people yelling things like "Google is killing this city" at the journalist.

imagine a clerk/cashier, someone who works with people's credit cards and addresses; wears glass during work and all hell breaks loose

So the megapixel CCTV camera above their head recording card details and pin entry is fine. But a cashier wearing glass with no recording light on is an issue?

Why wouldn't the cashier just use a hidden buttonhole camera?

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Google Glass may make you look like a smart technogeek, but it ain't such a smart idea to walk into the local watering hole and start snapping pics. Definitely not cool.

Unless they were asked to show how it works, which in this woman's case is the case. The bar owner and several other patrons/staff specifically asked her to show them the device and how it worked.

I just don't understand why so many people take issue with the Google Glass' camera, and so few of them with the Galaxy Gear's one. Both can be used to inconspicuously record people, the latter more effectively than the former.

I don't condone the violence, or the attempted theft, but I feel that it is reasonable to expect that I won't be recorded while grabbing a pint at my local pub. BTW, business are not considered public places. They are the private establishment of their respective owners.

But, then you have to ask yourself: is there an expectation of privacy at a pub, where, more than likely, you're going to be interacting with individuals for which you don't know?

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It depends. I suppose it is really up to the business owner to set a policy about this type of behavior and inform patrons. I might not choose to have a drink somewhere if I am likely to be recorded.

Would it be nice to have an expectation of privacy in public? Absolutely.

Would it be nice if businesses individually classified themselves as public or private domains? Would it be nice if there were a highly-visible sign identifying a place as such? Absolutely.

But, if I remember correctly, most businesses that are registered, depending on the industry, are classified as public domains.

Some bars do have such rules, as you mention. But, seeing how the workers at the bar were legitimately interested in learning about Glass, I'd venture to say that they didn't have a problem with Glass or any other "smart" device that could be used to record activity or take pictures.

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In the US, if the owner of private property opens that property to the public, it becomes a public place. It's still private property, and the owner can ask someone to leave or ban the use of cameras, but the patrons have zero expectation of privacy.

Public place and public property aren't the same thing under the law.

If your scenario were correct, the use of CCTV to catch shoplifters at Walmart would be illegal, because Walmart is not a public place.

Good point. +1

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As Jerry mentioned above, under US law, there is a difference between "Public Property" and a "Public Place". A bar may be private property, but any venue which is open to the public is considered a public place.

If you have a garage sale, your garage is considered a "public place" for the duration of that garage sale.

Eventually someone will make an app that will allow recording without the light coming on. That being said - smart watches and cell phone apps already allow secret picture taking/video recording. My biggest concern is people watching video and not paying attention to what is in front of them. People do that enough with just cell phones - Glass could make it worse.

I'll agree that violence isn't the right approach, but I strongly disagree with the comment that rights to privacy are gone once you step outside.

How would you feel if while playing at the playground with your children, some stranger comes up and starts recording your kids while they're on the merry-go-round? What if he (she) is a perv? the local pedophile? How would you feel about them recording your kids?

There's a saying that goes: Your rights end where my nose begins. The implication being that I do have a right to a certain amount of reasonable privacy *AND* security while in public.

Such extreme statements about rights to privacy being gone just because a person is outdoors is wrong. Laws of morality and decency, as well as common sense, still apply, if not we'll end up in an anarchist state.


A lot of people who have Glass, think they are above everyone else...still no need for violence.

the big print giveth, the small print taketh

Define a lot of people, please. That sounds highly opinionated. If anything, it seems as if the people that can't afford Glass are implying that, and think they're right, even if their perception is completely wrong.

Morality and decency are not laws but I get what you mean. However once you leave your home someone could videotape you all day long while you're outside and there is nothing you can do about it, so long as they don't post it online for some sort of gain.

I don't disagree with that, but in a somewhat "closed" environment, such as a bar, or a picnic area outside, I have the right to be undisturbed or harassed. We also have to differentiate between public figures and the general public.

If I have private documents in my house, they're considered private, but as soon as I put them in the trash can for the garbage man to pick up, those documents are no longer private, and I agree with that. With that thought in mind, if leave a briefcase on a picnic table in the park, and step just a few feet away to light the BBQ grill, do I lose my right to those documents being private just because the briefcase is in a "public" area?

Videotaping me from afar, where I don't know that I'm being recorded is one thing, but close up to where I am aware of being recorded, that does border on a violation of privacy, or if nothing else, at least that person is being a public nuisance, of which there are laws against.

The topic of privacy and Google (or any other glass) is not going away anytime soon :-)


You actually raise a couple of good points, here.

1) with the brief case, it's more of a matter that the documents are "inside" the brief case, and so not visible to the public. Your person, however, is which is were the analogy breaks down. Still good food for thought in the discussion, though. I believe, from a legal standpoint, the briefcase and all of its contents would be considered a singular personal possession. Now, if you had those documents in view of the public and someone captured them on video (film/photo/digital/whatever) I think the law would fall on the side of it being your responsibility to keep those documents private. Honestly, I wonder about things like that all the time when I'm logging into my bank account on my cell phone, wondering if anyone (or any camera) can see what I'm pulling up. But, that's mostly just because of the embarrassment if they see my available balance ;)

2) If someone were video taping you "up close" it would still technically be legal, although if they were right in your face, or actively preventing you from doing something, that would probably qualify as harassment, but not a violation of privacy. It's important to note that "privacy laws" don't necessarily refer to someone being in your "personal bubble". That would fall more under the laws governing assault and harassment.

3) As to your earlier question about someone recording your children at the playground, you always have the option to leave. It may be unfortunate, if that is the only course of action available, but it's still an option if you are genuinely concerned for the safety of your family members.

That said, be careful not to fall into the trap that the media (at least here in the US) tries so hard to propagate that you need to be afraid of *everything* 24/7. I have, on several occasions, taken video of my kids while they were playing at the park. Usually when they were trying to show how they could do the monkey bars or something.

Our media outlets spend a lot of time and effort trying to convince us that we need to be afraid of the stranger lurking behind every trash can. Mostly, because that's how they make their money. "There's scary/dangerous people *everywhere* so stay tuned right here and we'll tell you how to avoid them!"

That guy at the park, recording with his cell phone (or Glass) *could* be a creeper. Or, maybe he's just another dad. Instead of being afraid, just ask him. You could always leave if you don't like his answer. Who knows? You might just make a new friend.


Thanks for the thoughtful response.

After reading through many comments here, it seems that what we're discussing as a community boils down to this:

First, it seems that the act of being recorded by surveillance cameras, or being taped as an innocent or un-observant bystander at some event, is setting a precedent (in some peoples minds) which says they can record anything, anyone, at anytime, because it's "legal"

Just because something is legal doesn't necessarily make it right, just like not everything that is illegal is necessarily wrong. *If* the recording is being done in an annoying or obnoxious manner (such as what is entirely possible in a bar) this shows a lack of character by the one doing the recording, as well as a lack of respect for the person(s) being video-taped, photographed, etc... There's a huge difference between these two scenarios, but because it's "legal" then I guess it shouldn't matter...

I fear that we're becoming a society where everyone does what is right in their own eyes, and if someone else is offended, big deal... get over it. I see it all over the place, especially with the younger generations where there's a complete lack of respect for others, as well as a lack of respect for themselves.

Something else I've noticed tonight, is that there's an awful lot of Android fans here at AC that must be judges, lawyers or paralegals, I've never seen so many people who come across as legal EXPERTS LOL!


Attacking people for performing legal acts is a much faster path to anarchy. Filming your family is quite a ways from the end of your nose.

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If the glasses were $100 no one would attack other people for it. Wearing Google Glass in a bar around a bunch of drunk people is like wearing super expensive sneakers in a bad neighborhood. It's not all that very smart.

On a side note: the only issue with the video recording capabilities I see are in movie theaters or classified areas. Aside from that if you're worried about someone capturing you on video, then stay inside and become a hermit.

I want a pair to wear to the gym, especially after I am finished with my workout.


That's really unfortunate, what's next? Glass explorers use side door? Or, segregated establishments for glass/non-glass patrons?

Businesses will decide whether they want to allow them or not I think. Just like guns or video cameras in theaters.

Half of the people in any bar you walk into nowadays are taking photos or videos with their phones. Why is it any different taking those same photos and videos with Glass? If you don't notice the creepy guy (or girl) staring at you without breaking his gaze (because he's recording you) you probably won't notice the same creeper holding up a phone while doing the same thing.

Posted via Android Central App on my Droid Maxx

If someone wouldn't stop filming after asking, I would beat the living s out of him. In case of a woman the boyfriend. People better ask before filming and have respect for the privacy of others.

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You are correct that this should have never happened in a public place. Shove any type of camera in anyone's face that doesn't want to be recorded and the results will most likely be the same.

Me personally would never take my 1000 dollar pair of glasses to a bar. That's just my skewed opinion of what common sense is though.

If your friends pestered you to show them this new cool tech you just bought I'm sure you would take it somewhere to show it off. Like a phone you would go somewhere with a brand new phone you just bought to show your friends. Unless you don't have any then what I just said won't make sense to you.

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She should get a pair that don't have Glass built on! /sarcasm

Although that is an opinion I'm seeing a lot of uninformed people state on this site and a few others where this story has popped up today. "If she can afford Glass then she can afford a regular pair of prescription glasses." /facepalm

What people are failing to realize, is that the Glasses were gifted to her.

That opens the possibility that if she already wears prescription Eyewear, she could have substituted her prescription lenses into the Glass frames.

So, in this scenario, she didn't spend any extra money on this setup, and quite possibly, was unfairly labeled and judged.

Of course, I'm just speculating. But, it's a possible scenario.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

An excellent point. I fully intend to get a pair of Glass (when the price comes down) and will have to get the prescription frames attached. And getting a second pair of prescription glasses would be a pretty major financial "hardship" for me.

Correct. She should not be stupid enough to have Google glass as her main pair of glasses.

The guys who assaulted her were wayyy out of line. Was it that serious? They hit her because she was wearing a pair of glasses they didn't like? losers

They are using assault kind of loosely here. They assaulted her by grabbing them off her face and apparently throwing a bar towel (where they got that I am not sure) at her. No one hit her the way you are thinking. Someone did assault the guy who removed the glasses from her face though. I am sure that's on camera and unfortunately for that guy can probably be used against him regardless of the circumstances. I would have a hard time not going after the guy who removed something from my "companion's" face unwillingly as well but just like in sports the person retaliating is probably going to come out worse off.

I don't get why people care if a photo is shot of them or recorded. To me you would only be scared if you had something illegal or doing something illegal so why care? I sure don't because I can't stop it and even if I could what's some random person going to do with a photo of me? Probably delete it or have some fun alone time with it.

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I feel sorry for the person who wants to have "fun alone time" with a picture of me. That's a lot of therapy needed, right there ;)

The problem isn't glass. Its the entitled attitude of the Glass Explorers users that are the problem. How stupid are you to bring it into a place full of drunk people who won't know any better when they feel threatened?

Its like being gold chains and a Lexus into Oakland, CA in the early 90s. You know you're an easy target.

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So, are you implying that all Glass users are entitled? Entitled to what?

What's the point of Glass, if you can't use it in the public? That defeats its entire purpose.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

If anything, it's the paranoid people that gave away their "public" privacy for YEARS - not batting an eye at products that already could record them without their knowledge - that feel the most entitled to privacy that doesn't exist (and probably never existed) once they leave the confines of their home or residence.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Ok all of this is just really really stupid especially some of these comments. I cant believe how paranoid everyone is of this. I see it being no different from cell phone which can take pics and video and which I might add almost everyone and their grandma has. But no one is up in arms over cell phones or trying to get em banned from public places.

The selective memory, paranoia and idiocy of some people never cease to astound me. It looks like some people just want something to bitch about.

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I don't see a difference between being recorded with Glass or being recorded with the bar's security cameras. At least Glass has a "recording light".

EDIT: now that i think about it, I have to agree with Jerry, you are being recorded pretty much every where you go these days, the difference is, you don't know about it. Streets, traffic, cop cars, subway stations, all the security cameras at ATMs and banks and gas stations. Shopping malls.....need i go on. If you don't want to be recorded, stay at home. (but I wonder how safe you are these either. Just had to tag that on for the super paranoid ones.)

You're exactly right. I read an article a while back that said that, statistically, the average person was being recorded about 80% of the time that they are not in their own home or at work. (and, for a lot of us, probably even when we're at work)

Just a reminder... The people in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco HATE being photographed because half of them are criminals.

The problem is that people think privacy applies to them when even in public. However, that is not an unfounded belief. There is a reason people and license plates, etc. have to be blurred when captured by Google cars before posting to Google map street views.

I'm pretty sure that's only in the UK. If I wanted to know what the license plates are of cars on a given street, I can just drive down the street, can't I?

In the US, there was a major supreme court case a few years back where the FBI had attached a GPS tracking device to a guy's car while it was parked in his drive way (not in the garage). The guy tried to sue based on violation of his 4th amendment rights, since the device had been attached without a warrant. The supreme court found in favor of the FBI stating that because, his car was accessible to the public (ie: anyone could have walked up and touched it), then it was not a violation of privacy.

That's a pretty extreme example, but it shows just how little actual "privacy" US law says you have, even if you are in your own front yard.

If all were smoking a left hand instead of drinking the demon rum they probably would be sharing a bag of doritos right now.

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I just got my Google Glass and I was surprised how many of my friends said things like oh so you're going to record everything now? Huge misconception about Glass. Thats said I don't plan on wearing it everywhere.

The problem is that a lot of media "reports" and internet articles act like Glass is recording 24/7, when the reality is that it could record continuously for more than about 45 minutes. But most people don't know any better, and believe the reports.

You should make every effort to educate the uneducated. I, for one, intend to wear mine everywhere ;)

Breaking news: I can record you with a phone, too!!

Hey, let's go throw bar rags at everyone who has a camera in their phone simply because they have the potential to record us!! Then when we're done let's gang up on everyone who has a CCTV setup in their home or business, because they may potentially record me, too!!

This is getting out of hand...when will these morons realize the two most important things here:
1 you are already being recorded 24 hours a day, whether you know it or not.
2 you are not that interesting....I don't want to look you up!!

Point #2 made me lol. A lot of these people want to *think* that they are that important, though.

Some people are like "he's going to take a picture of me and go home and do 'stuff' while he's looking at it!" And all I can saw is "have you looked in a mirror lately?" ;)

Did the Google Glass unit survive the incident, unharmed? If people don't want to be recorded, why don't they just activate their anti-recording device from their utility belts? Or, May e a cloaking device would be in order.

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That's crazy. I can't imagine having that big of an issue with someone because they're wearing Glass. And this is probably unlikely, but I hope she gets her purse and its contents back, too.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

Me, too.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

>"your right to "privacy" stops the minute you're in a public place,"

I strongly disagree. And apparently I am not alone.

Its just because people hate Google and think they are out to make money out of all their private details. ;) /jk

Gotta love California! They've pretty much banned guns for law abiding citizens and now crime is exploding.

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Whats interesting about all the comments on this thread everyone is debating law and rights and not the test device and what lesson Google should take from this.

The situation at the bar got way out of hand, we all agree but this will not be the only incident. So as we look to promote wareables, intead of looking to force the masses to accepting the device and all of its functions by quoting law and rights, how can the wearable device make the masses comfortable enough for all of its functions to be used in public without inciting this type of situation? Should Google add something to Glass to give people in the vicinity a clue to how the Glass is being used at a particular moment? Or is the stigma of fictitious "Xray vision" too deepy ingrained in the masses psyche to accept an eye ware, wearable device in this day and time?

Sent from my SG Note 2

Yes debating about whether it's legal or not along with concomitant sarcasm and obfuscated insults here and there. And after this initial deluge of emotional responses, rational thought makes a timely entrance.

As with everything else new, people handle it either of 2 ways..assimilation if the novelty fits into existing paradigms or accommodation if it requires change in paradigm to avoid cognitive dissonance. Psychologists tell us that assimilation is much easier. The concept of smartphones was assimilated because it seemed like a natural evolution of phones, as is the case now with smart watches. Phones and watches existed already. They were accepted as part of everyday life. But the only place where the general public has seen anything like that before was when the United Federation of Planets was at war with the Borg. And the Borg were portrayed as creepy.

The take home message here is that smart glasses will not win public acceptance unless the culture changes. That'll happen when the mass media uses their social power to promote smart glasses as being "cool" or common enough nowadays. That can be in the form of popular commercials, sitcom plots or gratuitous appearances in this TV show or that movie. When viewed enough times, critical mass of familiarity will be reached. Then reaction to smart glasses will be as if there is nothing terribly unusual. Now that all sounds like a grand marketing conspiracy but that's the scale needed for smart glasses to go mainstream.

I think it will take more than a grand media push. I think there is a need for an Evolution step type approach that will make eye wearable devices more acceptable, like as you pointed out, that the masses accepted cell phones as the next evolutional step from wired phones. Right now as it stands the only things people can associate with Glass is Night Vision goggles, James Bond/ Mission Impossible type spyware.....eye wear that gives the user the advantage to see things they should not. I think we need an acceptable eye wear to bridge the gap to Glass.

Sent from my SG Note 2

It's stories like this which makes me believe that glasses will not capture much public interest except among gadget geeks, and very few of them at that. Even if there isn't violent backlash as was in this case, there seems to be lack social acceptance let alone approval. It was completely different with smartphones in their infancy.

The next big wave of smart personal devices will indeed be wearables but it won't be'll be watches.

Glasses are a dead end, at least for the mass market.

Hmm, I just had THE most brilliant idea. Google should make Glass able to "talk" with other Glass units. Then you can add a "I don't want to be filmed or have my picture taken" option. So if you are wearing Glass and have the privacy setting set to "on", no other Glass user can film och take pictures of you. In other words, if you want privacy - buy Glass! Should help speed up sales ;-)

Can't blame them for being mad about it. What the guy did was wrong and completely stupid, but glassholes are like this. They don't understand that you need to be respectful of other people.

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The source is CBS, a known liberal, socialist propaganda machine. Phones are OK, but having to deal with people walking around with cameras on their face recording everything they see is not just wrong, it's sick. People talk about how bad the paparazzi is, then go Buy these glasses. Foot has to be put down somewhere.

Posted via Verizon Galaxy Note 3

Ok soooo...
1st... This happened on Haight Street...
But, seriously...
This happened in a bar...
Most people in bars do NOT want their picture taken...
Stand in a bar with a fullsize video camera (on or off) pointing randomly around the room at people who do not want their picture taken and don't care to ask if the camera is on or off...
See how long that lasts...
If you are dumb enough to try...
Most bar-staff will invite you to leave...
If the staff does not remedy the situation...
Another patron will...
A bar is only semi-public...

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