Seattle bar is first venue to ban Google Glass spy specs
Mar 11, 2013
Downtown Seattle covers a pretty small area and the the "5 Point Cafe" is in the Belltown district, not much more than a stone's throw from the Space Needle that features in all Seattle's tourist publicity - and in every repeat of "Frazier". So, down, dirty and dangerous it ain't and if you don't believe me I could take you to some real dives around England, Wales and Scotland for you to make a comparison. They might look vaguely respectable from the outside but once through the doors the chances are that the customers bellied-up to the bar would make your bowels more watery than the beer.
Nonetheless, The 5 Point obviously has a reputation to live-up or live-down to and has thus issued a proclamation stating, "For the record, The 5 Point is the first Seattle business to ban in advance Google Glasses. Arse kickings will be encouraged for violators." Well, it actually says "ass" but that's a donkey. The alternative - and original - spelling is good old Anglo-Saxon and that's what we use here in Britain.
Unfortunately, the owner of The 5 Point decided to post the ban on Facebook which rather negates his privacy argument, but, hey, at least he is making a stand and let's hope that millions of other bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, clubs, shops etc., around the world soon follow suit.
The bar's owner, Dave Meinert says, "The use of Google Glass in the 5 Point bar would be a violation of the privacy of our customers, regulars and drop-in clients alike. People want to visit the bar and be not known and left alone... and they definitely don’t want to be secretly filmed or videotaped and immediately put on the internet.”
One of his regulars intends to be immediately proactive. "I plan on carrying matt black spray paint cans for folks who want to Google-Glass me," he told a local radio station.
Actually, Mr. Meinert concedes that the spy specs ban is meant to provoke a reaction and to get people to think about the effect the likes of Google Glass could have an on individual and group privacy and to take a stand against its continual erosion.
The bar owner says, "Part of this is a joke, to be funny on Facebook, and get reaction. But part of it's serious. We already don't let people film other people or take photos of people in the bar, because it's a private place that people go."
A Google mouthpiece, who, for whatever reason, wanted to remain anonymous (and how incredibly bloody ironic is that give what the company is doing? Don't these spin doctors have any self-awareness or a sense of the ridiculous, which is exactly what they are?) commented, "It is still very early days for Glass, and we expect that as with other new technologies, such as cell phones, behaviours and social norms will develop over time."
Well, I'm sure we all know plenty of gin joints which have displayed behind the bar a notice stating, "Don't as for credit because a smack in the mouth often offends". It will be very easy to amend signage like that to get over, with quite some degree of force, that Google Glass will not be tolerated on private premises.
The point is that pubs and clubs are all about face-to-face human connection and interaction over a drink which patrons may seek to join in with or ignore according to their mood and disposition. In a bar one can be private drinking alone in a social environment or private drinking with a group of others. Invading that privacy by having the technological ability to eavesdrop on and record video and audio via a dodgy pair of giglamps simply isn't socially acceptable, and I for one hope it never will be. So, full marks to, and full respect for, Dave Meinert and his determination to ensure that the principal of "what happens on tour, stays on tour" extends into the 5 Point.
All power to his elbow - and those of his clientele.