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Restaurants fear spies with Google glasses

THE new Google Glass could spell trouble for cafe and restaurant owners.

The privacy of restaurant patrons could be invaded if users decide to use them surreptitiously for recording video and taking pictures.

The new product is a head-mounted display device similar to a pair of spectacles that works through voice and touch controls.

Restaurants Association of Ireland CEO Adrian Cummins said that the device may have to be identified to staff before they choose to let wearers into restaurants, but that it would be up to each restaurant to approve their use.

"When you take pictures without people's knowledge, it can cause problems, especially with restaurants being family-friendly places," he said.

Fears have been raised that Google Glass can be used without a red indication light or shutter sound, and without the knowledge of owners.

CAREFUL

"Google needs to be careful where it could lead to," Mr Cummins added.

"I haven't seen the devices yet, but they would need to be clearly identified, and it could lead to issues in regards to the privacy side of things.

"You already have a lot of people taking pictures with iPhones of their plates of food and of the restaurants themselves, so I think it could be something similar.

"It could affect more than just the restaurant industry; you need to look at gyms, leisure centres and other places."

But cafes and bars in the area surrounding Google's European HQ in Dublin aren't worried.

Barry McNerney from Juniors Deli and Cafe said he couldn't see a problem.

"I wouldn't have a problem, but I think it's very sad if people sit here and film.

"People could probably do the same with their phone sitting in a cafe, but from a privacy point of view, I don't think we'd have much of a problem."

A release date for Google Glass in Europe yet to be confirmed.

hnews@herald.ie


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