There is _no way_ that capturing packets off open wifi networks was illegal or immoral. I know because I was doing a mobile wifi startup at the time and we investigated the legal boundaries of open wifi. Although not all points were litigated, anyone installing an AP could choose encryption, it was likely illegal to use an open AP without asking, but the packets were more like shouting across the back fence than the privacy afforded a cell phone conversation.
Google assumed that the obvious law would be enforced
With Glass, Google is taking the road that cameras, and cell phones, do all of this today anyway. Anyone who has Glass on their face is just like someone holding a cell phone to their face (either taking a picture or talking or using navigation), and using Glass has the exact same privacy problem as a cell phone, and cell phones are already a known quantity (it's illegal to record most audio, legal to record most video, legal to record police). It's just so freaking obvious, even if a republican congressman from texas writes a letter on behalf of his committee on privacy.
Google will now make the same mistake, and assume that the obvious law will be enforced as it obviously should be.
Instead, we are grappling with this social aspect of giving individuals the power that governments and businesses have already (CCTV). The obvious answer is to give the people the same power as businesses and government. But, instead, we seem more afraid of our neighbor than these other folks --- which is just crazy.
Maybe, however, Google has the right idea this time. Seeing 1500 influential people will start the conversation, before they put this beast to retail and get slammed. Maybe they're doing something clever. Good, Google.