UK Cinemas Ban Google Glass

Google Glass is off to a rocky start in the UK with cinemas now banning the headsets from their theaters just a few days after regulators laid out how Glass will have to adhere to data laws.


Photo: Antonio Zugaldia / Flickr

Vue, one of the largest cinema chains in the UK, and the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association have outlined the ban and their reasons, stating that piracy is the main reason behind the move, much like the similar ban seen in the US.

Chief executive of the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, Phil Clapp made the CEA’s feelings clear on Glass saying “Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not.”

There has already been an incident in a theater in London where one patron was asked to remove his headset. There is a small light on the hardware that lights up when recording but cinema staff could not determine for sure if it was recording or not and simply asked him to remove it. Google Glass can only record about 45 minutes of video before powering down, which means it’s unlikely that one person could film a full movie.

Other cinema and theater chains say they are considering options for dealing with Glass. Really Useful Group, the theater and film production company of Andrew Lloyd Webber said that it will “evaluate the implications, especially with regard to the effect on the cast, creative team and members of the public.”

The filming function on Google Glass continues to irk many privacy advocates as it is often possible to film someone without their knowledge or consent.

Last week the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office, an independent regulator, made it clear that the use of Google Glass must fall in line with the country’s Data Protection Act.