Google Glass user questioned by Homeland Security over piracy fears during trip to the cinema
The device was turned off and searched for footage but the cinema stated that "wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate"
Wednesday 22 January 2014
A cinema chain ejected a man during the middle of a film and then detained him for over an hour after suspecting him of recording the movie on his Google Glass.
Colombus-based Tiberiu Ungureanu told tech site The Gadgeteer how in the middle of watching a film (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) “a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says “follow me outside immediately”.”
Ungureanu reports that he was then searched by a group of “cops and mall cops” who confiscated his wallet, his phones and his Google Glass. The device was turned off for the duration of the movie but Ungureanu was still wearing them as they also incorporated his prescription.
“What followed was over an hour of the “feds” telling me I am not under arrest, and that this is a “voluntary interview”, but if I choose not to cooperate bad things may happen to me,” writes Ungureanu.
Eventually Ungureanu convinced the authorities to search Glass and his phones to look for offending footage. When they found none he was told he was free to go.
A spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (the specific department of Homeland Security that were called in) told the Washington Post that "On Jan. 18, special agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and local authorities briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an electronic recording device to record a film at an AMC theater in Columbus.
"The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been inactive. No further action was taken."
The cinema chain that reported Ungureanu defended their actions, with spokesman Ryan Noonan saying “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 theatre.”
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