Nick Starr was dining at the Lost Lake Cafe in Seattle when he was asked to remove his $1,500 Google Glass headset or leave. The glasses allow users to take pictures and record audio or video, which has stirred concerns about privacy. The Glass is currently being tested by so-called Glass Explorers, and is expected to hit the market in April 2014.
Starr demanded to see a written policy banning Glass, but when the server held her ground he left, then complained about the incident on his Facebook page.
In his Facebook rant, Starr demanded an apology and suggested that the restaurant’s owner should fire the manager who asked him to remove his Google Glass headset.
“She tells me that the owner’s other restaurant doesn’t allow Google Glass and that I would have to either put it away or leave,” Starr wrote on his Facebook page.
“I asked to see where it was policy for Glass to be disallowed at Lost Lake. She said she couldn’t provide any and when asked to speak with management she stated she was the night manager.”
Starr argued that it was unfair for the restaurant to encourage customers to share images on social networking sites, then ban Google Glass. Starr wrote that you can take pictures just as easily with your cell phone, so why not ban those as well?
Lost Lake Cafe owner David Meinert—who publicly announced that Google Glass would not be allowed in his Seattle dive bar, 5 Point Cafe, earlier this year—didn’t give a f*ck about Starr’s complaints, and refused to apologize. Meinert posted his own opinions on the restaurant’s Facebook page:
“We recently had to ask a rude customer to leave because of their insistence on wearing and operating Google Glasses inside the restaurant. 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.”
Meinert told KOMO News that he thinks Glass are invasive and make customers uncomfortable. Starr’s opinion?
“I think privacy is vapor now,” Starr said. “There are cameras everywhere. There are recording devices everywhere. 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.”
Starr kind of sounds like a dick, no? Which is why his Facebook rant ignited bitter criticism, causing him to delete his Facebook profile on Sunday. One commenter wrote:
“What kind of pathetic loser asks for someone to be fired because they asked him to put his toy away? What kind of overly indulged manchild throws a hissy about something so inconsequential? Grow up loser!”
Starr’s comments are undoubtedly childish, but the incident does bring up an important question: How long will it take business owners and the public to treat Google Glass in the same way they treat cell phones? Before that can happen, legal concerns surrounding privacy issues must be addressed and ironed out.
All we know is, it is a bit disconcerting when someone can secretly film or take a picture of you with, literally, the wink of an eye.