Out of Google’s Hands
Although Google is working on means to control specific aspects of Glass when it comes to privacy and security concerns, a larger concern to me is the relatively loose control Google has over the OS. Several users have already installed custom apps that take advantage of disabled areas of the OS.
Stephen Balaban created an app called “Saving Face" that let Glass perform facial recognition. The app leverages social networks and facial recognition to automatically recognize and remember people. Google was not happy with the result and has banned any kind of facial recognition apps for Google Glass, but nothing at this point stops people from installing the app outside of Google’s store.
Google purposefully built Glass to require physical or verbal interaction with the device in order to capture audio, pictures or video. The goal with this was to make sure people around a Glass user were clued in to what a Glass user was doing. Mike DiGiovanni released "Winky" – a Glass app that lets you take pictures by simply winking your eye – a few short months after Glass was released.
Google could – and likely will - address many security concerns by adding simple locks and forcing users to make physical gestures to enable recording. What concerns me most is that without better controlling access to the OS and Apps, the controls Google implements can easily be tossed out the window.
We’re in an exciting age of technology where major breakthroughs are happening on a rapid scale. Google Glass is still quite a ways off from being a mainstream piece of equipment, but with the progress Google has made in the last year I am confident wearable computers will be a big part of our future.
Now, we just need to figure out how to secure them.