Cafes ban Google Glass to protect privacy

London - Google is facing a growing backlash over its ‘Glass’ eyewear, with cafe owners in the US banning the technology from their premises.

Dave Meinert, who runs the 5 Point Cafe in Seattle, said those wearing the spectacles will have to remove them if they want to come in.

File photo: Google founder Sergey Brin poses for a portrait wearing Google Glass glasses before the Diane von Furstenberg Spring/Summer 2013 collection show during New York Fashion Week. Credit: REUTERS

He has put up a sign on the wall which reads: “Respect our customers’ privacy as we’d expect them to respect yours.”

The move comes after it emerged people wearing Google Glass could be banned from American cinemas, casinos and even parks because owners don’t want filming there.

The glasses, which cost $1 500 a pair (about R13 500), are currently on limited release to 2 000 customers but will be more widely available later this year.

A camera next to the wearer’s eye, which can take photos or record video without a red light or a shutter sound to tell others that it is working, has caused concerns for privacy.

Casinos said the futuristic eyewear could help cheaters to win unfairly and cinemas said they could be used to illegally record films and sell pirate copies.

Dan Tench, of legal firm Olswang, which is co-ordinating a privacy lawsuit against Google in the UK, said: “This is the ultimate snooper’s gizmo. If you walk around with a video camera filming, it’s obvious what you’re doing, but with Google Glass, it’s much, much more invasive.” - Daily Mail