McDonald's: we didn't beat up 'Human Cyborg' Steve Mann in Paris

Fast food giant McDonald's has moved to try and quell the furore surrounding its allegedly abusive treatment of wearable tech pioneer Steve Mann.

The burger chain has issued a statement claiming it investigated the incident at its Champs-Elysée branch in Paris and ascertained that it "did not involve a physical altercation."

"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," McDonald's declared.

"Our crew members and restaurant security staff have informed us that they did not damage any of Mr. Mann's personal possessions," it added.

Earlier this week, Dr Mann – a University of Toronto professor known affectionately as the 'Human Cyborg' due to his penchant for wearing augmented reality headsets – published a blog post seeming to document an assault by McDonald's employees.

In his blog, Dr Mann published photos appearing to depict staff at a Parisian outlet of the world's largest fast food restaurant chain aggressively confronting him, trying to rip the permanently-attached EyeTap Glass off his head, and then pushing him violently into the street.

Dr Mann has ventured that the dispute related to the headset's ability to photograph the restaurant in the French capital's tourist heartland, and that a doctor's note he produced to justify the computer vision system was torn up in front of him.

Indeed, one of the images he released (top) appears to show an employee of the controversial global chain reaching for his EyeTap Glass - which pre-dates Google's current Project Glass by about 13 years - in an attack Dr Mann described as a "side-swipe, grabbing motion."

McDonald's has ventured that it does not have a unified policy on photography and filming, but that each franchise is allowed to set their own policy.

Why McDonald's staff would feel compelled to take such dramatic action to prevent an innocent photograph from potentially being taken is anyone's guess - but as Dr Mann points out, it's not the first time Parisian branches of the fast food colossus have faced accusations of abusing customers.

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