Apr 24 AT 2:27 PM Dima Aryeh 18 Comments

United Airlines tells customer to remove Google Glass for security reasons


Google Glass is still a young and new technology, and so we always expect to hear of problems arise from its public use. Let’s face it: having a camera strapped to your face will make some people uneasy. However, a Google Glass Explorer was recently involved in her second issue with Glass, this time on a flight.

You may remember Cecilia Abadie, whose first problem with Google Glass was getting a ticket for wearing the unit while driving. She took that case to court and won, setting a precedent for future cases involving Google Glass. This time around, Abadie was told by United Airlines to remove  her Glass on a flight due to security concerns.

Google Glass United Airlines

I'm taking a pic with my cellphone because I'm not allowed to take it with Google Glass. It had to be United the first plane that they asked me to take Glass off because of security concerns. Cecilia Abadie

What kind of security concerns could Google Glass bring up? As she has proven with her image, it’s just as easy to take a photo with a phone as it is with Glass. It’d be even easier with a smartwatch. What is there on a plane that the company wouldn’t want photographed? It just doesn’t make much sense. Plus, if they were prescription glasses, would United have told her to take them off? If you have prescription Glass, you should probably carry a spare set of glasses with you.

This is just one of the hurdles Google Glass and its users will need to overcome while the technology is making its way to the mainstream. Some people will always have trouble getting accustomed to new technology, especially always-present devices like Glass. Hopefully Cecilia will score another win for Google Glass.

Do you think United was right in what it did? Tell us in the comments!

Via: Phandroid

Source: +Cecilia Abadie

Dima Aryeh is obsessed with all things car and tech. His time is split between gaming and fixing his racecar. He also does photography in his spare time.

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  • Eli Gaffke

    This is awesome! Hopefully she sues them too. I hate the airline industry. It’s too bad that they weren’t prescription, that would have made for a very interesting case.

    • Jake

      She would have absolutely no case. This has been established policy on United Airlines for years. Photography or video recording of other passengers is strictly prohibited. And it’s hard to tell if a person wearing glass is recording video — even harder when they’ve hacked their device to disable the indicator. The policy was designed for the privacy of passengers and I’m glad to see the rule is being enforced.

      • Simon Phoenix

        Is it hard to determine if Google Glass is recording? It lights up the user’s forehead. It would be much easier to covertly record someone with a cell phone because they do not have recording indicators. A phone could be place in a shirt pocket, or somebody could hold it up against their ear as if making a call.

  • Brandon

    Makes me wonder if a passenger(s) had a problem with her wearing it and told somebody at United Airlines about it.

    • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

      I would assume this is the most likely case. For starters people are usually too wussy to tell someone, “Hey man, can you take those glasses off? They creep me out.” Had she been taking photos/videos with her phone (like constantly, not just one snap) then I’m sure someone would ask an attendant to tell her to stop.

      But she’s right. I can’t possibly see how Google Glass would present security issues. Just insecure passengers I suppose.

  • alonso

    After all have been racist let it slide

  • fly Delta


  • Deter

    Assuming that they don’t have some sort of posted no camera policy (like the DMV, where i have seen people’s phones confiscated and pictures deleted my employees) i don’t see why the Glass had to be taken off. I certainly don’t see how it ia a security concern.

    I do certainly understand being asked to power off the Glass during the times when all portable electronics are to be powered off and i don’t know if that plays a factor here.

  • Nigel

    Google Glass is just creepy. Using security is likely an excuse just to the creepy technology off.

    I notice sat in aisle roaw on the left side so the glass is arguably a bit more likely to be catching stuff in the aisle.

  • Jeremy

    Most airlines have strict rules about taking pictures of the plane’s systems or employees. There are a lot of stories out there about people having cameras taken and pics deleted, and even being kicked off flights if they are uncooperative. Since the Glass has a camera and the attendants have no way of knowing if it’s actively taking pics, it is within policy to ask them to remove it.

    • Simon Phoenix

      The attendant could determine if Glass was taking pics by observing if the Glass display was illuminated. The display is transparent so anyone else can look at it from the otherside to see what the user is doing.

      • LMG

        Most people don’t know this though and yo would have to be constantly staring at them which is almost as creepy

  • Joe Marsh

    We should assume we are being photographed/videoed all the time. I’m sure it will freak
    most people out that the Bible teaches that all of our lives are recorded for the judgment. Privacy is a myth. Nothing done in secret remains secret, good or bad. If you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have a devine attorney to keep your soul from hell. Those without Jesus are subject to penalty of a second death. You can be saved by turning away from disobedience to God, and calling on the name of Jesus to save you.

  • Eugene Iwanski Jr

    Why don’t you all admit that this is about nothing more than getting attention. That’s what Google glass is all about. There’s no justified reason for these people to be constantly connected, it’s something we want but not need to be. And the need to be recording everyone and everything all the time is simply creepy. It seems the people who embrace Google glass have poor social skills and having this device on your face isn’t going to make up for that.

  • donger


  • Mike Burtner

    It’s not United and it has little to do with Google Glass. So many of my fellow Americans now feel as if they’ve been deputized by Jack Bauer to be on the alert for schemes, plots and conspiracies, and feel duly empowered to conjure up authorities well beyond their capacity.

    I work on ATMs. I have the keys, the alarm codes, the tools, the van, the ID, the monogrammed shirts and constant phone/radio contact with all the security and bank personnel who enable me to do my job. Yet every week, someone calls the police on me or I am confronted by a pharmacy clerk who demands that I prove my authorization to do my job. Simply flashing my faded, broken plastic nametag usually makes them go away, proving their confrontation was just a way of asserting the authority granted to them by multiple viewings of NCIS.

    So let’s not be too quick to judge United, based on the actions of some no-doubt over-zealous, ignorant flight crewmembers. Everyone in America is afraid for their job and even more afraid of the danger that lurks in the shadows. They just took the path that seemed most beneficial to their continued employment.