Saturday, 7 December 2013

Google Glass and Security

Wow - I thought Google Glass was cool, and then loads of people started getting tetchy about security.

Yep, I completely get their concerns, but I think they need to get over themselves.

Google glass will start to filter into the workplace, I would imagine that IT people will find it intensely useful for user training. An IT consultant or help desk person can film exactly what a user needs to do in order to correct a problem, install software or apply a new process. What a wonderfully easy way of presenting authentic WYSIWYG!

The trouble will come with unauthorised use. And unauthorised use - or abuse, really - applies equally to mobile phones, spy cams, recording conversations, unauthorised access of another's email account of files, stealing passwords, stealing IP or stealing things. It is then the fault of the person who took those acts, not the fault of the technology used.

99% of us won't abuse the technology once we get it. The 1% remaining will take up all our time if we let them. Organisations can't be luddites about this: the technology is coming, and if banned, that 1% will then see it as a challenge. Organisations instead need to lay out clearly what their expecations are of appropriate behaviour in the workplace. They may need to restrict some features of Google Glass while people are at work, or ensure that all streaming is shared with the workplace as well as the user's circles (or not allow circle sharing unless the workplace shares it). It might be company policy that staff can't - or MUST - wear Google Glass when driving at work. It could be safer for taxi drivers and police, less safe for ocassional drivers.

Koegler (2013) said "The enterprise in general and IT in particular should become early adopters of new wearable devices such as Google Glass and smart watches, and become familiar with the possible issues they present. BYOD policies, IT device management systems and employee education should be at the top of the list for enterprises as these new technologies begin to infiltrate the office. But perhaps the most productive preparation will be internal education and leadership in presenting responsible usage and best practices to enterprise employees who will be experimenting with these devices".

Organisations need think it through, plan, develop processes and train staff ahead of time. Before the technology becomes pervasive.

Before the first cases are taken in the Employment Court.

  • Reference: Koegler, Scott (22 October 2013). The Next BYOD: Glass In The Enterprise. USA: Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 12 November 2013 from


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