My team has been getting pretty excited about using docker because it promises to simplify our deployments and provide a number of other design and operational benefits. We recently started to really get things rolling with it and ran into some issues with the fact that the docker daemon runs as root.
In general, my stance on running server platforms as root is "don't". We recently went through a bunch of battles to get our operators to stop doing this and to even stop running things under accounts that can modify the server deployment. So right off the bat, I have problem here that it seems a little hypocritical to go back to these same people and ask them to set up docker to run as root.
I'm not the first to comment on risks posed by the docker daemon running as root. According to this "Eventually, it is expected that the Docker daemon will run restricted privileges, ..." Should we just wait for this to be addressed? I thought docker would improve our security profile but this seems to make it worse. My enthusiasm has been deflated for docker and I'm not sure I am motivated to make a case for using it in this state to our risk team.
EDIT: I should clarify that I'm not specifically concerned here with the issues around users being members of the "docker" group. It's important to know about but that can be managed. I really appreciate all the great answers here (both pro and con). I think I've been conflating the daemon with the containers themselves. I probably need to work on a clarified mental model of the docker architecture. Again lots of great stuff here all around. I'll have to ruminate a bit before accepting an answer.
Am I wrong to think this is a major flaw with docker?