Don Ihde called the hypothesis being 'hyped' and referred to clear evidence about the use of optical tools by, ., Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci and others. As well the 1929 Encyclopædia Britannica  contains an extensive article on the camera obscura and cites Leon Battista Alberti as the first documented user of the device as early as 1437.  Ihde states abundant evidence for widespread use of various technical devices at least in the Renaissance and . in Early Netherlandish painting .  Jan van Eyck 's 1434 painting Arnolfini Portrait shows a convex mirror in the centre of the painting. Van Eyck also left his signature above this mirror,  showing the importance of the tool. The painting includes a crown glass window in the upper left side, a rather expensive luxury at the time. Van Eyck was rather fascinated by glass and its qualities, which was as well of high symbolic importance for his contemporaries.  Early optical instruments were comparatively expensive in the Medieval age and the Renaissance. 
The bulk of the controversy surrounded whether she invaded her partners' rights to privacy , and whether the subjects of Owen's faux thesis have a right to sue, as was done in the case of Jessica Cutler when Cutler published details of her sex life on a blog .  It also raised questions as to whether double standards exist if the reaction would have been the same had the faux thesis been written by a male.  The faux dissertation attracted additional attention because some of the men whom Owen ranked were from the lacrosse team , and there was an unrelated sex controversy surrounding the team a few years prior.