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Google Glass stirring up a legal hornet’s next

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 7 (UPI) — Google’s latest computerized device, the Google Glass, is likely to run into widespread legal challenges, attorneys and market observers say.

The computer on an eye glass frame is not expected to be available to consumers for months, but the glasses outfitted with computer capabilities are already provoking a legal response, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

They have already been banned in a bar in Seattle. The owner of the 5 Point Cafe, Dave Meinert, said the bar, described by the Times as a Seattle “dive” was a “kind of a private place.”

The Google Glass will have the ability to take photographs and videos and instantly post them onto the Internet. One software developer made a splash last week, when it was announced software had been created that allowed pictures to be taken if the wearer winks.

That may sound like harmless, James Bond-like fun to some, but to others it is a challenge to privacy laws and a public safety concern if they are worn by drivers.

“This is just the beginning. Google Glass is going to cause quite a brawl,” said Los Angeles attorney Timothy Toohey, whose practice focuses on privacy issues. “Google Glass will test the right to privacy versus the First Amendment,” Bradley Shear, a social media expert at George Washington University told the Times.

To promote Google Glass, the company is calling the device “seamless and empowering,” which is partly why it is making some people nervous.

Casino operators are also nervous. Computers and recording devices are not allowed in casinos run by Caesars Entertainment and the Google Glass is both and can be potentially disguised as prescription eye glasses. “We will not allow people to wear Glass while gambling or attending our shows,” said a company spokesman.

“We are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass because new technology always raises new issues,” said Courtney Hohne, a Google spokeswoman.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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