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Google Glass Wearing Moviegoer Detained, Questioned By Federal Agents

Posted by: , 05:36 AEDT, Fri January 24, 2014

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Man using turned off Google Glass as his prescription glasses in cinema hauled away by a federal agent, questioned on piracy charges
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Image/Photo Credit: Google

A cinema patron wearing prescription Google Glasses was removed midway through a movie session, and was then subsequently detained and questioned by federal agents.

First reported by The Gadgeteer, the Hilliard Ohio resident was interrupted midway through watching 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' at an AMC movie theater by a federal agent waving a badge and was told to follow the agent outside.

The man, and his wife who was also in attendance, were searched outside of the cinema for an "embarrassing" half an hour, before an hour long interrogation session by an agent later identified to be working for ICE Homeland Security. 

All the time, the man, who has asked to remain anonymous, explained that he was only wearing his $2500 Google Glasses because he was using it as his prescription glasses, after he had spent additional money on fitting in prescription lenses. The device was turned off all through the movie and no recording had been made, the man also tried to explain.

The agent, possibly unaware of the Google Glass devices, questioned the man on where he obtained the "recording device", and even went as far as asking if Google had paid the man to record the movie.

The man's wife was also questioned separately during this time.

Only at the end of the excruciating process did the federal agent examine the device's stored contents, something that the Hilliard man had asked the agent to do from the offset. The agent finally believed the unfortunate moviegoer's assertions that no recordings had been made.

An AMC spokesperson confirmed that the incident took place, and also confirmed that a representative of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) had been present that day, and had requested Homeland Security intervention.

"While we're huge fans of technology and innovation, wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate at the movie theater," said the AMC spokesperson.

Four free movie passes were given to the irate man and his terrified wife at the end of this ordeal. 

"I would have been fine with 'I'm sorry this happened, please accept our apologies'. Four free passes just infuriated me," wrote the Google Glass wearer in an email published on The Gadgeteer.

Both the ICE and the MPAA defended their actions, with the MPAA explaining both the cinema and the film in question were expected targets of piracy related activities. ICE confirmed that the man had been "briefly interviewed" on a voluntary basis and that no further action was deemed necessary.


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