Whether to ban Google Glass is undoubtedly not on your law firm's radar right now. Most of the partners have never heard of Google Glass. And the product is not even available to the public yet. Now it is only in use by Google employees and a few thousand "explorers."
Google Glass is wearable technology, worn like eyeglasses. As you can see here, Google Glass does some pretty amazing things in only its first release. Since you can record audio and video, as well as take pictures, without others being aware you are doing so, this has some people quite concerned. See Google Glass and Its Privacy Implications. After all, we all understand that some people will misuse technology in all manner of creative ways. It would be a great way to record a motion picture in the theater, for example, and locker rooms and rest rooms are other areas of concern.
Some businesses are already announcing that Google Glass will be banned from their locations. Movie theaters are understandable. But one of the first businesses to announce the Google Glass ban was Seattle’s 5 Point Café. The cafe got a fair amount of online publicity with the announcement. But the stated reason of wanting to protect all customer's privacy seems rational to me. It would be one thing to record the person you are having dinner with, but another to record other patron's conversations. It is true that most everyone in the restaurant is carrying a smart phone in their pocket or purse, but at least with them it is clear when you are using them as a camera. You can record with Google Glass with no one knowing.
Search Engine Journal has posted Top 10 Places that Have Banned Google Glass and law firms are not included. But I think law firms will join what may be a fairly long list of businesses that decide on the ban.
Would you want one client or witness in your waiting rooms recording your other clients waiting for their appointment- especially if a client was discussing her divorce with her mother? How about the number of exposed documents that a person might walk by on the way to their appointment with a lawyer? (Yes, I know the best practice would be for there to be no exposed documents.) What about the lawyer conferencing with the client? Your advice is what you sell to clients. Would you really want to give a client the ability to post the video of an entire consultation with you online? And before you say, "Sure, why not?" remember that this video can be edited to take things out of context or to make it appear that you said things that you did not say. A client could also compromise his or her legal matter by failing to secure a video taken in the lawyers office.
Yes, I am often a tech early adopter, but I think many law firms will join the list of businesses that ban Google Glass–when it is released to the public. A website, Stop the Cyborgs, already has created free, downloadable ban signs like the image you see above and will sell you printed stickers, t-shirts and posters. Thanks to lawyer Glen Gilmore for his tweet on his @SocialMediaLaw1 with some of the links.