McDonald’s Staffers See Red Over Prof’s Digital Eyewear
It’s a safe bet that Google (GOOG) and other inventors of digital eyewear never envisioned this: A Canadian university professor says he was assaulted by employees of a McDonald’s in Paris who objected to his wearing a cyborg-style eyepiece while eating dinner with his family.
Steve Mann, who teaches engineering at the University of Toronto and designs his own high-tech eyegear, says he fled a McDonald’s (MCD) outlet on the Champs Élysées on July 1, after employees tried to knock the device off his head and tore up a note from his doctor explaining why he needed to wear it. His account of the incident, posted on his blog, includes photos of the alleged attack that Mann says were taken by the device’s built-in camera. “They were acting like lunatics,” Mann told Bloomberg Businessweek.
McDonald’s, in a statement posted on its French website on July 19, confirmed that employees had talked to Mann because they thought he might be secretly filming customers and employees in violation of French privacy laws. “The exchanges with Mr. Mann were respectful and courteous,” the statement said. The company said it was continuing to investigate and asked that no “hasty conclusions” be drawn. Spokesmen at McDonald’s French and U.S. headquarters did not return calls.