News AMC Movie Theater Removes Google Glass User

A user of Google Glass was allegedly removed from an Ohio movie theater and interrogated for several hours under suspicion of bootlegging a film. The moviegoer was wearing Google Glass with prescription lenses, an option that Google said would become readily available when the beta product would ultimately be released.

As reported in The Gadgeteer, the author said he was contacted by a reader of his column, who forwarded an email from the reader's friend about a harrowing experience. The friend stated that he went to an AMC movie theater wearing his prescription Google Glass. On the way into the theater, he was questioned about his hi-tech spectacles by an AMC employee who was taking his tickets. About an hour into "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit", he was confronted by security, who removed him and his wife from the theater. They were allegedly questioned for hours under suspicion of recording the film. The interrogators had identified themselves as being with a branch of federal law enforcement and exhibited little understanding of the Google Glass technology. In the end, the moviegoer was issued four free tickets and an apology that their reasonable suspicion resulted in such a prolonged interrogation.

I have no idea whether this story is true. But what makes it interesting is that technology which makes it effortless to record high definition video will bring about an entirely new set of expectations and law. It's certain that we'll continue to see more stories involving Google Glass users being confronted by law enforcement and private establishments.

Cecilia Abade was issued a traffic ticket in California for driving while wearing Google Glass. She was cited under California vehicle code 27602, which prohibits the driver from operating a visual display that could be distracting (and not within the listed set of exceptions such as a GPS mapping device.) The summons was later dismissed since there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove that the Google Glass was on and operating at the time of the incident.

The moral of this story is as follows. If you're a prescription Google Glass user, keep an alternate pair of prescription eyewear handy at all times. While technology and innovation are wonderful, it is the responsibility of the owner and operator to use good judgment and common sense. Having a driver's license and entering private property are each a privilege that can be granted and not a constitutional protected right.
Legal Practice
Motor Vehicles - Speeding & Traffic Ticket
  1. California
  2. Ohio
About author
Michael Wechsler
Michael M. Wechsler is an experienced attorney, founder of, A. Research Scholar at Columbia Business School and of-counsel to Kaplan, Williams & Graffeo, LLC. He was also an SVP and chief Internet strategist at and legal consultant at Kroll Ontrack, a leading service e-discovery and computer forensics service provider.


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