I tried to post this as a link, but it didn’t work. Perhaps there’s some restriction on the amount of text in a link post. Opaque to me. Don’t recall having that problem before.
This should be no surprise. The Really Smart People™ at Google need as clean a data set as they can manage to determine just what level of granularity Glass can achieve. If users were allowed to share their surveillance devices it would fuzz up the data. They need to correlate Glass inputs with inputs from other sources to begin to refine inferences from the more mainstream data sources.
If you’re a Glass wearer, Google’s going to be observing your behavior and comparing the outputs of its predictive algorithms using mainstream data against your observed behavior as collected by Glass. If you allow someone else to wear your device, Google has no idea what other data to correlate against - unless there were some way to “sign in.” That may be coming. But right now they need to get some good data on just how valuable this data stream might be, and how hard to fight for it if a backlash emerges.
Right now they’re not allowing advertising in Glass apps. That’s partly to ensure the best experience by early adopters. Later they will allow advertising, likely their own, and they’ll measure how effective that is. Ads delivered by Glass are likely to be based on predictions, and Google is going to want metrics on how accurate (and therefore valuable) those predictions are. It’s also possible the ads will be delivered by other means, if the prompt isn’t especially time-sensitive. There’s no compelling reason why an ad that is intended for a highly vulnerable user must be displayed by Glass.
Right now, I think in some ways Glass remains an experiment. The nature of the intrusiveness of this form of surveillance seems lost on the majority of people. I think Google knows that once enough people understand just what Google is collecting with this device, a backlash will develop. How that plays out will depend, to some extent, on how valuable Google perceives the data from Glass. There is no such thing as “bad” data, there is just “more” valuable and “less” valuable data. If this is very valuable data, and its progress to date seems to indicate that Google believes it is, it will fight very hard.
Even if Glass were ultimately banned (except for government and law enforcement, perhaps), Google will be able to use the data it will begin collecting now to refine the predictive algorithms that rely on the mainstream data sets (Gmail, Google Docs, Maps, Google+, Android, etc.) and make that data more valuable.
Google is arrogant and pursues a policy of seeking forgiveness rather than permission, because once it has the data - as in the book scanning, the wifi data, the Safari cookies, - it has the data. It can’t “unsee” it. The algorithms can be tuned and refined. Data is data, and they try to grab as much of it as they can before someone tells them they can’t.
And so far, almost no one has told them they can’t.