The inevitable has occurred. Another restaurant in Seattle, Washington, has banned Google Glass from its establishment due to privacy concerns. The first restaurant to do so earlier this year was the 5 Point Cafe. Now the Lost Lake Cafe And Lounge (co-owned by the owner of the 5 Point Cafe) has also banned Google Glass, citing an incident with video teleconference network engineer Nick Starr.
The night manager asked Starr to take off his Google Glasses, at which point he says he asked for evidence of a policy banning the glasses. To keep it extra classy, he ends his Facebook complaint with the suggestion that a service worker who is probably at the poverty line should lose her job, so that should win the network engineer some sympathy.
I would love an explanation, apology, clarification, and if the staff member was in the wrong and lost the owner money last night and also future income as well, that this income be deducted from her pay or her termination. [Nick Starr]
Lost Lake responded with this Facebook announcement:
We recently had to ask a rude customer to leave because of their insistence on wearing and operating Google Glasses inside the restaurant. So for the record, here’s our Official Policy on Google Glass: We kindly ask our customers to refrain from wearing and operating Google Glasses inside Lost Lake. We also ask that you not videotape anyone using any other sort of technology. If you do wear your Google Glasses inside, or film or photograph people without their permission, you will be asked to stop, or leave. And if we ask you to leave, for God’s sake, don’t start yelling about your “rights”. Just shut up and get out before you make things worse.
Forbes also spoke with both owners of Lost Lake, David Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse. Meinert said, “I think the crazy part is that this guy comes into a diner and is asked to change his behavior in a way that’s our right to ask of him. He doesn’t like it, so he tries to get the server fired. It’s a total [expletive] move.”
It’s a fun game to guess which expletive he used. We’re thinking “douchewaffle”, but feel free to add your own.
Lejeunesse also spoke with candor, “Should someone lose their job over this? No way. Right or wrong, there’s no way we’d fire one of our employees for something like that. We’d much rather 86 an entitled-acting tech nerd”
To the surprise of no one, the Facebook comments under the restaurant’s announcement vary from saying they’ll never eat there again, that it’s the best rule ever, that people who complain about Google Glass are hipster-bashing fedora wearers, that they just don’t get technology maaaan, etc. There are some who reasonably pointed out that you can tell when Google Glass is recording. (For example, the user has to say “record a video” or press a button on the glasses. The screen also lights up when it records.)
That said, it’s not always easy to tell when the screen is lit, and a restaurant has every right to set a dress code. Until people are more familiar with the technology — and know how to tell when it’s recording — we can expect more of these bans.
I would almost be willing to let glassholes creepily videotape me in restaurants as long as I can do this: