Google Glass: facial recognition and root access could be evil


Google Glass has been rooted, which is what Google wants since it will encourage development. But this and the probability of facial recognition software on Glass means seriously nasty stuff could happen. Once you have root access, you can do anything on Glass.

Google Glass: Let the evil commence, says ZDNet.

Once Glass Explorer Edition’s ROM makes it into the wild, all kinds of “Evil” re-spins can be produced to make the stock Glass into a Swiss Army surveillance kit for sociopaths, not just hackers.

Robert Scoble has been using Glass for a few weeks now, loves it, and has a passionate post detailing why privacy concerns are overblown. But it’s not the ethical or uber-geeks who concern me. Once you get root on Glass you can add applications, change settings, and even monitor users without their knowledge, explains ZDnet. It’s not what the ethical will do, it’s what others will do that is the concern.

“If you are being recorded, it’s readily apparent from video activity being reflected off the wearer’s eye prism that something is going on, particularly if you are in close proximity to the person.

But that can be changed once a Glass headset is rooted. “

Will facial recognition get commonplace on Glass? If so, then prosecutors, law enforcement, federal agents. and the like may have serious security issues. They don’t want to be identified when they’re out shopping with their families.

Friends just took their 13 year old daughter’s cell phone away after an older creep contacted her in a chat room and was texting her saying he loved her. They reported it to the FBI. With facial recognition, the creep might instead just take photos of girls walking out of Junior High, ID them, find their Facebook page, and then probably figure out where they live easily enough. Am I being paranoid? I don’t think so. The combination of Glass being rooted and facial recognition opens up some nasty doors.

My wife says:

A “nuclear device” like Google Glass should not be in the hands of the public & should also probably not be in the hands of the government without a properly executed and court-approved search warrant.

Business Insider says Glass is great but no one will use it, that it’s more of a toy rather than essential and has some problems.

But while Glass keeps you hyper-connected to the Internet, it also makes you feel less involved with what’s happening in real-life. To put it simply, I felt like a glasshole.

Some people have raised concerns about what would happen if someone runs up to you and says, “Ok, Glass, Google [insert weird, inappropriate word here]!” and runs away. We didn’t test that exact scenario, but from my experience, that’s a very real and valid concern.

Scoble, who I respect, says in 18 months Glass privacy concerns will be of little concern and besides, smartphones can do just about everything Glass can and more surreptitiously too. I’m not so sure…