Google+ and Online Identity
Google+ requires it’s users to use their real name, according to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt ( via Andy Carvin ) because Google+ is an ‘ identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information ‘. I have to ask myself in what way is Google planning to ‘ leverage that information ‘.
And has Google thought this through? What about people who have established an identity online that people are familiar with? What about people in politically volatile Countries? What about the dangers of identity theft, stalking, rumors, and all the other nasty possibilities that could arise from people revealing their identities online?
Is Google going to pony up some dough to the woman who gets her real name trashed all over the Internet and stalked by some lunatic? Are they going to be held accountable for their policy if that policy harms someone who is a victim of identity theft?
The answer is no.
Google accepts no responsibility whatsoever. Accepts no accountability whatsoever. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has made it abundantly clear that no one is being forced to use Google+ and that it’s essentially use at your own risk.
And there’s nothing to prevent someone from taking the information they gleam from Google+ profiles and using it elsewhere.
I do see the benefits of the concept of using your own name. It would ( in some respects ) discourage dishonesty, slander, arseholes; and, I’ve read that people using Google+ are more civil toward each other because they use their real name…but then, I would have to ask myself if the person you are speaking to is on his/her best behavior? Real names are likely to create fake civility…hiding the real uncivil nature of the person…creating a social dishonesty. Clearly anonymity breeds a certain liberty and honesty in people that may not be readily apparent in someone using their real name. We know who the arseholes are, they freely identify themselves as such…using real names would likely hide that fact until it’s too late in some cases.
Then we’re back to why Google even wants us to use our real name, and it should be obvious, they want our information, they want to collect it, and use it.
“the real-name issue has more to do with Google’s other business: namely, advertising. Users who are anonymous or pseudonymous are arguably a lot less valuable to advertisers than those who choose to attach their real identitie—including their age, gender, location, and further demographic details—to their accounts.”
to an extent…that should worry us.
And are we forgetting Google’s 300 year plan for us?
As Google’s Web site explains, the company’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” And how long might that take? Chief exec Eric Schmidt told the Journal: “It will take, current estimate, 300 years to organize all of the world’s information.”
Google’s 300-year plan | News Blogs – CNET News
What exactly happens when Google achieves it’s plan to aggregate all the World’s information?
The same thing that always happens when someone has too much control or power over information.
Do you really think it’ll be any different? Really? Do you really think so?
There is some talk on the Net about Google changing it’s policy and allowing people to use pseudonyms. And that they will be implementing it over the next few months. Apparently, you will still need to use your real name to open an account, you just won’t have to use it as your online handle. However I have yet to find a reputable source to verify this information.
This, if it’s true, does seem to resolve the issues regarding real names. It however still doesn’t address the other issues such as why and how Google plans to use the information it collects. Or why Google+ is, according to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, not a social community but a ‘ identity service ‘ that means to ‘ leverage your information’.
Former Freehand Freelance Graphic Illustrator... been online since 2004 ( late starter ), blogging since 2005, presently writing a suspense-thriller e-book that began as a screenplay.
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