New rules needed for tech advances
At least 15 San Francisco and Oakland bars have banned the use of Google Glass by patrons, in response to customers's complaints about the devices' potential to violate their privacy.
Google Glass is a computer built into glass frames. The device includes a video screen in the corner of one lens.
Bar patrons are worried about patrons using the devices to find out much more about them than they want known.
But a recent incident, also in California, raises a more serious issue - use of wearable computers while driving.
The California Highway Patrol stopped a woman for speeding Jan. 8 near San Diego, and also charged her with wearing Google Glass while driving. They used a state statute that was passed when car manufacturers first began installing televisions in headrests. The law precludes the use of any video screen in the front seat.
A district justice dismissed the case. The state law applies only if the video device actually is turned on, and police could not produce evidence that the driver's Google Glass was operational as she drove.
The potential of the devices to cause deadly distractions for drivers is obvious - people should be paying attention to the road rather than email, videos or games.
Bills to preclude the use of wearable technology while driving have been introduced in New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, Illinois and Missouri.
Pennsylvania's Legislature, which took far too long to ban texting while driving and still has not refined the law to make it easily enforceable, should outlaw the use of wearable computers and ensure that the law's language makes the ban truly enforceable.