Homeland Security Questions Man for Wearing Google Glass in Movie Theater
Could wearing Google Glass to the movies soon be considered a no-no?
A man who wore the high-tech device to an AMC theater in Ohio over the weekend says he was pulled from the screening and interrogated by agents from The Department of Homeland Security for an hour.
"About an hour into the movie (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,'" the man told The Gadgeteer. "It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about five to 10 cops and mall cops. Since I didn’t catch his name in the dark of the theater, I asked to see his badge again and I asked what was the problem and I asked for my Glass back. The response was 'you see all these cops you know we are legit, we are with the ‘federal service’ and you have been caught illegally taping the movie.'"
An AMC spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter that theater managers at AMC Easton 30 in Columbus, Ohio, contacted the MPAA, as is policy when someone is suspected of movie piracy. The MPAA, in turn, contacted Homeland Security, which has a hand in investigating piracy.
The man, who was not named, said his Google Glass was turned off, but he kept wearing them in the theater because they are prescription. After an hour of questioning, agents plugged his Google Glass into a computer and found he had not been attempting to pirate the movie.
In a statement, the MPAA called Google Glass "an incredible innovation in the mobile sphere" and said it has "seen no proof that it is currently a significant threat that could result in content theft.
"The MPAA works closely with theaters all over the country to curb camcording and theater-originated piracy, and in this particular case, no such activity was discovered," the statement continued.
The Department of Homeland Security also issued a statement on the incident:
"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. "
As for the man, he received four AMC movie passes.
Pamela McClintock contributed reporting.