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Google Accused of Hypocrisy Over Google Glass

Friday, 7 Jun 2013 | 5:39 AM ET
Google Glass
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
Google Glass

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with new reporting. Google did not ban Google Glass at the shareholder meeting, according to a source, though it banned any recording of the proceedings.

Tight security restrictions at Thursday's Google shareholder meeting, infuriated a consumer watchdog group which accused Google of banning even its own Google Glass and said the tech giant's executives were hypocrites.

Google Glass is a wearable computer with a head-mounted display that's in prototype and lets users search the web, use apps and respond to spoken instructions. However, its most controversial feature is its ability to record video, an issue that has raised privacy concerns.

"Cameras, recording devices, and other electronic devices, such as smart phones, will not be permitted at the meeting. Photography is prohibited at the meeting," instructions for Thursday's 2013 annual meeting of Google shareholders in California said.

(Read More: The 'Next Big Things' in Wearable Tech)

"Google has unleashed one of the most privacy invasive devices ever," John M. Simpson, privacy project director at Consumer Watchdog, said in a press release. "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."

(Read More: Goodbye Apple iPhone? Wearable Tech Is Coming)

But according to a source familiar with the shareholder meeting, Google Glass wasn't actually banned and no phones or glasses were confiscated. In fact, some attendees wore Google Glass at the event. The restrictions only applied to recording the event.

A consumer version of Google Glass isn't expected to hit the shelves until early next year but it has already managed to attract unwanted attention. A porn app called "T--- & Glass," which allows users to view and share pornographic content from a point-of-view angle has been developed. But the app looks to be in jeopardy with Google changing its rules on "explicit" content.

Meanwhile, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued a directive on Monday ordering casinos to bar gamblers from using the device.

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