Your Community

Google Glass captures arrests made on Jersey boardwalk

Categories: Science & Technology

A man is filmed being arrested on the Wildwood, New Jersey with a spectator's Google Glass headset. (chrisbarret/YouTube)

An American filmmaker recorded what's being called the first ever fight and arrest recorded with Google Glass, and it's raising more questions about the possibility of being unknowingly recorded in public places.

Chris Barrett took his Glass headset out to the Boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey on July 4 when he came across a brawl.
"Tonight, I was testing out the extended video recording option with Google Glass on the Boardwalk of Wildwood, New Jersey," explains Barrett in the video's description. "I walked right into the tail end of a fight happening on Jersey Shore boardwalk and filmed the first arrest through the lens of my Google Glass."
In the four-minute clip Barrett uploaded to YouTube, crowds fill the boardwalk during July 4 celebrations. Barrett told VentureBeat that he was filming a fireworks presentation when a crowd nearby caught his attention.
Indeterminate noise and chatter fills the clip. Revellers appear to gather around several men involved in a fight, although the large crowd obstructs Barrett's view of anything other than a handful of people shoving each other. Members of the crowd chant "U.S.A.!" Minutes later, police arrest one shirtless man and walk him away in handcuffs. One other man was cuffed arrested later in the video.
"This is a huge step in citizen journalism," Barrett said. "If Google Glass takes off, everyone's going to have their entire life captured ... first words, first steps ... but also people getting shot, and natural disasters." He called the video "proof that Google Glass will change citizen journalism forever" in the YouTube page's video description.
Barrett says he was able to record everything that night largely unnoticed. "Only two people stopped me on the boardwalk, asking about Google Glass," he told VentureBeat. "I don't think the general population knows what it is yet."
A Google Glass headset can certainly be more difficult to notice than holding up a phone to record a video - especially at nighttime. Commentators are debating whether this seemingly innocuous episode is a sign of greater privacy concerns.
"More notable than the video itself is the ease at which it was captured without the knowledge of those in the middle of the melee," writes tech and science blogger Christophe Gevrey. "His footage foreshadows the rapidly approaching future where everything can be filmed serendipitously by folks wearing devices like Google Glass without the knowledge of the parties involved."
"For every alleged step forward there is often a concomitant step into discomfort. For every citizen journalist, there might also be a citizen snoop," writes CNET's Chris Matyszczyk. "For all those who believe that Google Glass might represent greater (and more covert) intrusion in their lives, this footage might serve to increase their discomfort."

Are you concerned about privacy with the advent of Google Glass? Does it represent a new shift in citizen journalism?

Tags: POV, Technology and Science

Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.