McDonald's Denies Employees Assaulted Human Cyborg Steve Mann

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In response to a storm of controversy surrounding its treatment of Human Cyborg Steve Mann, McDonald's has issued a statement, claiming that it has investigated the incident and determined that it "did not involve a physical altercation " when the University of Toronto Professor and father of wearable computing was ejected from one of its Paris restaurants. Earlier this week, Mann made headlines when he published a blog post alleging that employees at the Champs-Elysses McDonald's had tried to pull his EyeTap Glass off of his head and, when that failed, physically pushed him out the door and onto the street.

Update: Dr. Mann has sent us a new photo which appears to show a McDonald's employee grabbing his glasses.If valid, this image seems to disprove McDonald's claim that there was no physical altercation.

In an exclusive email interview, he told us that the alleged assault took place after employees objected to the EyeTap's potential use as a camera -- the device captures images in real-time but does not save them by default -- and tore up a doctor's note that Mann showed them, explaining why he needs to wear the permanently-attached device.

However, today, McDonald's is contradicting Mann's story, saying that its employees did not touch him or damage his equipment. "Mr. Mann was not kicked out, but was asked to leave," a rep told us, confirming that the cyborg had been removed because of his photographic gear.

In a statement, the fast food retailer said:

We share the concern regarding Dr. Mann's account of his July 1 visit to a McDonald's in Paris. McDonald’s France was made aware of Dr. Mann’s complaints on July 16, and immediately launched a thorough investigation. The McDonald’s France team has contacted Dr. Mann and is awaiting further information from him.

In addition, several staff members involved have been interviewed individually, and all independently and consistently expressed that their interaction with Dr. Mann was polite and did not involve a physical altercation. Our crew members and restaurant security staff have informed us that they did not damage any of Mr. Mann's personal possessions.

While we continue to learn more about the situation, we are hearing from customers who have questions about what happened. We urge everyone not to speculate or jump to conclusions before all the facts are known. Our goal is to provide a welcoming environment and stellar service to McDonald's customers around the world.

Is filming actually against the rules at McDonald's? A rep also told us that the company allows its franchisees to set their own photography policies.

We reached out to Dr. Mann for further comment and are awaiting his response. 


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Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
Add a comment
  • Ian Says:

    I think McDonald's did absolutely nothing wrong here this man is clearly a freak, he should not have that attached to his head and be let out of whatever hole he crawled out of. I think people like this should be sent off to an island where they can live peacefully and not have to deal with people who terrorize them. I also have seen the envelope evolving a long time on this issue, be careful the machines are coming.

  • Frank Says:

    And in addition, all the people who are commenting that macdonalds behaved perfectly validly by asking him to go...


  • Frank Says:

    Eamon, what a biased response you gave there. "It is quite possible...", "to pretend otherwise is disingenuous".
    So your whole comment is: This man has stated that he becomes disorientated when the camera is removed. I am choosing to state that the documents he had on him will most likely say that rather than state he has a medical condition, therefore he's over stating the issue and is not credible. At what point do you make a statement of fact? "

    i know this about this man, therefore I will make this unsubstantiated claim, and derive this conclusion from my claim"

    Do you work for Macdonalds by any chance?

  • beth Says:

    Might I add that not every McDonald's is disgusting?? Yeah thats right. They asked mr.mann to go because I think it was for the costumers privacy?!? Also, burger king cheats off of mcdonalds carls jr and jack in the Box!!!!!! So burger king is disgusting. I ate there and was sickfor a day.

  • Nishi Says:

    The problem is not McDonalds, but the piece of s*** country that is France and the losers that live there.

  • Sandra Says:

    Gesus & Jeff, if you look up any of the more detailed articles (check the one on i09, for example) it explains how the device works. It does not store photos or video, but rather has a buffer of a few seconds that is being constantly written over, unless there is a disturbance to the device. That is why he has a photo(s) of the event, because they had damaged the device when trying to forcefully take it off of him. It's like an emergency back up.

    I don't understand why one would be negative about this kind of technology, if used properly. If I were blind I have to say I'd be thrilled to have something that could let me see again. The technology is actually pretty amazing and fascinating to read about how it works, if you're interested.

  • John Says:

    MMMMMMMM.... Big Mac...... MMMMMMMMM........Chocolate Shake.... MMMMMMMMM....... Royale with Cheese........... MMMMMMMMM............ Filet O' Fish............ MMMMMMMMMMM.......... Freedom Fries............ MMMMMMMMMMMM............ Double Cheeseburger. SUPER-SIZE ME BABY!!!!!!!

  • jeff Says:

    It seems that he is what is referred to as an attention hoe-er
    if he does not record stuff how does he have pictures?
    he is only seeking attention and possibly money to buy better hidden cameras so he can secretly record people.
    I would not be surprised if he did not have small cameras on his shoes so he can get some good up-skirt pictures

    this is a non issue and he should be banned from all restaurants till he removes his spy glasses.

  • Joe Blow Says:

    So Yeah Cyborg Man, dont smoke and buy your own coffee and make your own food at home and you will never have this problem again!

  • Joe Blow Says:

    OK, Lets look at this logically firstly CYBORG MAN is not going to prevail ever because the way this corrupt system works is he who has more money wins and Mcdonalds being a multi billion dollar franchise in every country around the world will most likely hire the best lawyers pay off judges and WIN As for those who commented on not eating mcdonalds anymore, huh well good for you lets just say they wont be shutting down shop any time soon, If its Mcdonalds, British american tobacco, Starbucks, GOOGLE or any of these Billion dollar ZIONIST organisations they are untouchable !!

  • NazzTea Says:

    Further readings on this story say that the French employees were concerned about someone wearing a video recording device entering a restroom where other customers, including children, would be.
    Wikipedia's article on Steve Mann states he is concerned about privacy rights. Apparently, this does not extend to people whose images he captures with his eye-tap device.
    Still, it does not excuse an assault on his person, or lieing about it.

  • tjslr58 Says:

    I ate at McDonalds in Reno, Nevada yesterday. The clerk was so stoned that I had to place my order three additional times after ordering at the speaker. She was outrageously rude, and when I told her how rude she had been, her
    manager then yelled "Then don't come back!". My order was so filled with extra hot taco sauce that I was unable to eat my food. After only four bites, I was sick all day due to the sauce. Of COURSE all I got from McD's is that it comes with the sauce. Sure it does....the sauce specifics on the internet that it is on the side. And picante sauce, not extra hot taco sauce. Do not eat at telling what else they put in the food to make other sick. No hot sauce should have been in the burrito, again, it was to be served on the side....just like the internet picture. Drove by the same store around dinner time and absolutely no one was in the drive thru. Yeah!!!

  • Particle 8664 Says:

    McRude, McStupid and McDisgusting... In the name of Science, I am never gonna touch another McItems...Paris is indeed the rudest, ugliest and intolerant place

  • trippin' Says:

    Now I wonder why kids who over dose on McDonalds are obese. Burgers cost two cents and salads cost- wait, do they even have proper salad dressing or something that's not fake?

  • doctor Says:

    hmmm, I wonder who's telling the truth? is it professor and family man or is it parasitic scum of the earth poison peddlers from Paris (the rudest, ugliest and most uncultured place in Europe)?

  • Gesus Says:

    This doesn't hold water for me. He claimed the equipment wasn't recording but has pictures of the employees? I'm not considering the health aspects of McDonalds, I am only considering the right of a business owner to eject someone who is recording in their establishment. There is usually a warning on the window of the establishment or legal precedent in regards to filming inside private property. I am also disgusted by the article calling him the human cyborg. It is good to have passions but it also good to have rights. I like to see technology advance, but I don't see this as an effective means to advancing technology.

  • Eamon Says:

    Mr. Mann in the past has claimed to have become so habituated to his equipment that he becomes disoriented when it is removed or disabled. It is quite possible that he produced a letter attesting to this.

    However this is not the same thing as a medical condition requiring him to wear it in the first place. To pretend otherwise is disingenuous.

    It is hard to avoid the impression that Steve Mann thrives on this kind of incident to attract attention to him and his strange preoccupations.

  • cd Says:

    evil corporation, as all this big international ones are, despite any friendly image.

  • Kurt Says:

    Wont be eating at mcdonalds again

  • Roy Taylor Says:

    Aside from the possible assault I wonder if any of the info at this website applies? I understand that the EU courts take a very dim visit of discrimination cases, regardless of how polite the employees are.

  • Benjamin Says:

    Sir, facts are fact and will always remain so. McDonald's has never been honest in its whole history and I stand by every word i said above

  • Benjamin Says:

    Unfortunatley this is how McDonald's have always been. An uncivilized, less than honest company of JUNK food supplier, always eonomical with truth whatever the case. Just look at their marketing policies and how they destroy the health of young and innocent children. They're responsible for destruction of environment, damaging health of nations and much more.........I won't take my family to McDonalds and urge you to do the same. Don't kill your children by feeding them with JUNK!! I believe what Dr. Mann alleges.

  • Lori Says:

    What happened is disgusting, but so is the constant referral to Mr Mann as "the Cyborg" in this article.

  • Rohit Chatterjee Says:

    Of course the employees are lying, but the statement sounds like McDonalds is not trying to whitewash the incident. All they are saying is that their employees told them something. I believe Dr. Mann will prevail.

  • bob Says:

    this is disgusting i have lost much of my respect for mcdonald as i have been a customer for years.
    just wait next mcdonalds would kick you out because your in a wheelchair. Ban mcdonalds off this planet money grubing bastards

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