Consumer Watchdog Calls Google Execs ‘Hypocrites’ for Banning Recording Devices from Stockholders Meeting

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Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit and nonpartisan consumer protection organization, is turning a critical eye on Google for banning recording devices from today’s annual stockholders meeting. After all, the technology company has just created Google Glass, which is computerized eyewear that can record people without their knowledge.

“Google has unleashed one of the most privacy invasive devices ever,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director, in a statement. “Google Glass aids and abets people who want to invade our privacy by videoing or photographing us surreptitiously, but when it comes to their own privacy Google executives jealously guard it.”

Rules listed on Google’s investor relations page state that “cameras, recording devices, and other electronic devices, such as smart phones, will not be permitted at the meeting. Photography is prohibited at the meeting. Please also do not bring large bags or packages to the meeting.”

While Google Glass was not explicitly banned, the device, which is not yet widely available, includes photography, video, and sharing capabilities and looks more or less like a pair of sunglasses.

The watchdog group said “the restrictions showed Google executives are hypocrites” and urges Google to give users a way to remove videos or photos taken of them without permission from Google’s database.

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