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Vint Cerf: Google Shouldn't Force Users To Reveal Real Names
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msg:4551398
 3:20 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

In the face of increasing government-led crackdowns on social media, Google Inc should not force Internet users to reveal their real names for some services, including its Google+ social network, said Vint Cerf, a senior Google executive known as a "father of the Internet."

In an interview with Reuters, Cerf acknowledged that the search giant's sweeping push in the past 18 months to institute real-name authentication for Google+ and other services has sparked intense debate within its Mountain View, California, headquarters. But he argued that current name policy, which allows for some users to display pseudonyms, offers adequate "choice" in how users choose to represent themselves.Vint Cerf: Google Shouldn't Force Users To Reveal Real Names [uk.reuters.com]
"Using real names is useful," Cerf said. "But I don't think it should be forced on people, and I don't think we do."

 

Leosghost




msg:4551437
 5:22 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

But he argued that current name policy, which allows for some users to display pseudonyms, offers adequate "choice" in how users choose to represent themselves.


some..as long as it is some and not all..
it is most definitely not an adequate choice for all users..

Thus, this remark from Vint Cerf is just PR aimed at the EU..

Because facebook insist on real names..is not a reason that anyone else has to..

"Using real names is useful," Cerf said. "But I don't think it should be forced on people, and I don't think we do."

Yes you do Vince..

g1smd




msg:4551442
 5:26 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Numbers of users of Google+ are highly exagerated.

Every android phone comes with a Google+ profile. Most people have no idea what it is and never use it.

Broadway




msg:4551453
 5:54 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

>>But he argued that current name policy, which allows for some users to display pseudonyms<<

I could use some help here, I just reviewed Google+ accounts and the use of rel=author tag within the last month. I'm totally unaware of a pseudonym option being allowed.

With their non-pseudonym policy Google is creating two classes of web content generators. Those who participate (because of all of the advantages to search it brings) and those who don't because of privacy issues.

By no means does one of these groups create better web content that the other. This is an issues of simply Google creating things that they can measure, it is not about improving the quality of the web.

(To paraphrase) some years ago Eric Schmitt had some comment attributed to him where jokingly he suggested that possibly when people get to the age of 25 or so they should simply change their names (so to divorce themselves from their previous web histories).

That point just illustrates that Google admits that giving up your privacy on the web is complete, permanent and irreversible. And this is a good thing?

The other issue that's not addressed with a non-pseudonym policy (in regards to the rel=author tag) is the issue of "works for hire."

When a copyright is registered, the publication can be stated to be "a work for hire." That means that the company that paid for the work is (in the eyes of the Copyright Office) the author of the work.

With Google's policy, a company pays to have the work written, is the leagal owner of the content, promotes it via the prominence of their website and yet when the employee quits and and starts to work for a competitor, the juice (of work they don't even own) follows them to their new job, although all of the bills and effort associated with creating the website fell to the company.

If Google was in the business of creating marketable content, they wouldn't stand for that policy for a second.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4551483
 7:23 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's not SAFE to reveal personal information online because you NEVER know how it will be used, or by whom. Once posted online it can NEVER be taken back and so if technology changes, or some service like driver's license, passport or even your member card at the video rental store changes their policy it's possible for someone to impersonate you many years later.

Is it a problem? If it's forced, yes. I was told by Google that I MUST use my real name in my Google+ profile, which is why I'm not active on Google+. If I wasn't married with children I wouldn't care as much but MY information can be used to impersonate me to get at them and their information... and that's not ok. Yes, Google forces people to use real names and/or gives them the impression they have no choice. I'm surprised people haven't complained more loudly sooner.

Kendo




msg:4551484
 7:26 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Forget real names. What is really needed is fingerprint and/or DNA sampling. Imagine computer finger-prints attached to every message and request?

Now that would have such a benevolent effect on spam that everyone's data bills will soon be only a percentage of what they are now.

In fact it might even enable one to keep an email address longer than a few months.

Broadway




msg:4551493
 7:57 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

What rags me is two fold:

1) Insisting on real names easily suppresses the flow of information and opinion. How many here on WW chose their real name for their screen name?

Google's insistence on the use of real names is basically saying that people are inherently bad. They will do bad things under the cloak of anonymity. That isn't the case and it's a sad way to look at human nature. Just because the "do no evil" corporation no longer lives by it's rule doesn't mean that others in the world don't.

2) I'm only looking for anonymity in posting, it doesn't bother me a lot that my Google+ account knows my real name. If I've posted using a pseudonym and done something wrong, then there is recourse for law enforcement. Get may real name from Google+. The use of a pseudonym doesn't side step accountability.

Broadway




msg:4551501
 8:34 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I guess I feel strongly about this issue. Anyway, another thing that is so stupid about Google's policy is that they're simply being duped.

Content makers using the rel=author tag are easy to spot, in the SERP's you'll see the author's picture and it will list how many "Google Circles" they belong to.

Have you ever seen one of these in the SERP's where the author didn't belong to 1000 or 2000 circles. Have you ever seen one where they just belonged to five or ten?

Evidently, if you choose to participate you might as well spam the system to death. By valuing this metric, Google isn't promoting the worlds best content, they're simply promoting the content of the people who are world's best at working the system.

Give it a rest Google, you're not the internet police. The use of a pseudonym doesn't have anything to do with the quality of content or responsibility.

Whereas Wordpress helped to change the web by making is super easy for innumerable people to have a site (a real contribution), your legacy is one of creating an environment that lead to an explosion of junk-content made-for-adsense sites.

And there is no question that you had the real name of every one of the MFA developers because the check had to be made out to someone.

Leosghost




msg:4551506
 8:37 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

^^^A beer for that poster..or a large Laphroaig..:)

dstiles




msg:4551507
 8:41 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Funny they are trying to insist on anti-privacy. Ever since gmail began it has flouted internet policy in including the source IP in email headers. A real help to spammers, no help to anti-spammers.

The only thing I have of G's now is customers who force me to send to gmail addresses and googleapis, which I sometimes have to use to get certain internet services. I would ditch both, given an opportunity. Meanwhile I tell all who stand still long enough not to trust G's "privacy".

creeking




msg:4551542
 11:00 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Every android phone comes with a Google+ profile.



if someone signs up for a two year contract for phone service using their real name and address, and get an android phone as part of the deal, does G get their personal info? do they use that real info to make a G+ account?

lucy24




msg:4551543
 11:03 pm on Mar 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Content makers using the rel=author tag are easy to spot, in the SERP's you'll see the author's picture and it will list how many "Google Circles" they belong to.

Uhm, no, it won't. It takes more than the mere existence of the "author" markup. Which is fortunate.

Unanswered question: How can they force you to disclose your real "real name"? What if you give your name as John Smith? Who's going to call you a liar?

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4551618
 5:52 am on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Lets test it out Lucy, sign up as John Smith and someone can let them know you're not John Smith. Maybe they'll just ban you according to their TOS and maybe they'll haunt your every internet project, want to find out?

bluntforce




msg:4551629
 7:10 am on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I signed up fairly recently with a firstname and a single letter as lastname. Email address provided by me was firstnamesingleletter@example.com
Using the previously posted example given, it would be similar to johns@example.com

I didn't have any issues with signup and it seems functional as I've received Circle requests or whatever it's called. I'm sure there was some reason I took the plunge on signing up, I just don't recall what that reason was.

albo




msg:4551753
 3:10 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sgt_Kickaxe (if I read correctly) is certainly right. Retain "anonymity" simply by using a "credible" first name, last name, and perhaps even street address and accompanying other PII. I know of it having been done, and certainly the Gorg can be none the wiser. No fingerprinting, DNA sampling, iris scanning, or personal visits... yet.

Leosghost




msg:4551759
 3:25 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

As we are on Google and privacy..

Coming soon..
The Google Glass "feature" that is not getting any coverage..

[creativegood.com...]

I prefer to link to the article than to quote wholesale from it..

ember




msg:4551805
 5:15 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I never use my real name anywhere on the internet. I use my first name and middle name, which sound like a first and last name and keeps me safe.

BaseballGuy




msg:4551867
 8:40 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Leosghost

The first person I see wearing the Google Glass glasses....I'm going to whip out my cell phone, stand 2 feet in front of them and start recording them on video.

Me thinks they will get the hint rather quickly...

Broadway




msg:4551924
 11:35 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

To me, the point would be that by not allowing the use of pseudonyms Google promotes an environment where deception is encouraged (as evidenced by the the several comments above).

I'm sure very few people setting up false accounts have any malice in mind, which is exactly the point Google is missing. Anonymity does not equate with bad behavior. And in many cases (especially when posting comments and participating in forums) it can significantly elevate the quality of content.

Broadway




msg:4551927
 11:39 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was just sitting here thinking about this. I really think all of the arguments for the use of pseudonyms are quite valid. I was trying to think of why Google would feel differently.

Silly me, obviously the use of real names must have some direct application in Google's ability to place even more user-specific advertising in front of my face. I always think of Google as a search engine, not the advertising company that it is.

lexipixel




msg:4551946
 2:48 am on Mar 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Coming soon.. The Google Glass "feature" that is not getting any coverage..

-Leosghost

Aside from the privacy invasion possibilities (and the "dorky look")... it appears the Google Glass is in the upper corner of just one side of the frame (which aren't actually "glasses" per-se, they are just a frame with a camera/microphone/display packed into the housing of that one side.

Didn't Sergey see the movie "The Jerk"? (1979, Steve Martin as Navin Johnson, who was "born a poor black child"), [imdb.com...]

If you saw the movie -- remember how the "Opti-grab" caused all the wearers to become cross-eyed and they all sued, driving Martin's character back to poverty?

I would think if you wore a "Google Glass" for even a couple hours your eyes would be affected (negatively).... think about the last time you had a speck of dust floating on your eyeball that you couldn't blink out.

lucy24




msg:4551958
 4:50 am on Mar 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

by not allowing the use of pseudonyms Google promotes an environment where deception is encouraged

Interesting paradox there, but I think you're right. If the stated rule is "Use Real Names" then you will assume that all the names you see online are those people's real, everyday names ... even if you yourself are using a made-up name. (There is a technical term for this, but I'm not a sociologist.)

I would think if you wore a "Google Glass" for even a couple hours your eyes would be affected

Someone grab the nearest passing ophthalmologist, because I was wondering this too. Physically the screen is, what?, an inch or so from your eye, although what you see is intended to look further away. (Try focusing on a speck of dust in your eye-- or a floater, if you're afflicted with them as I am.) Physiologically are you then working in extreme closeup, or are your eyes behaving as if they're looking at something a cubit away? The ads imply that you wear these things at just the times when your eyes would otherwise be focused on the mid-to-far distance, which is rare enough these days.

Oh, and then of course we'll have to get a fresh set of universally ignored laws to join the ones about driving while talking or texting on a cell phone...

blend27




msg:4552080
 12:58 pm on Mar 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

... it appears the Google Glass is in the upper corner of just one side of the frame


Those of us that actually wear glasses on daily bases know how annoying and destructing(with this spelling) it could be having anything on the surface of glasses.

.. and would the Ads be called "POP-IN" Ads at this point?

Real Names... Who is to say that my name is not real? I have several and go by several and use several. Depends on where and who I am interacting with. Not because I said at one point that my name is such & such, but simply case people choose to use specific name that they feel comfortable pronouncing and remembering me by.

One recent example for instance. Last Fall, when Hurricane Sandy hit, my friend's Mother was visiting US, staying at his Sisters place. I haven't seen her in 8 years, she visits rarely. We came to check on them, it was almost dusk. With no electricity One could barely see in the room we were sitting in. I was kind of upset that his mom didn't recognize me after all these years.

That was until my friend called me by the nick name she knew me by. She jumped of the sofa and the hugs and questions didn't stop till we had to leave the place hours later. So ye, that nick name was my real name to her, She invented it too when we were much younger. It it has only 3 letters in it. The one on my passport is more than 33 and written in different alphabet than my parents first written it.

Broadway




msg:4552169
 4:01 pm on Mar 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google Glass. So now I won't just be annoyed by the person I'm having lunch with holding a "simul-text" with someone else on their phone while we're talking. I can also look forward to a scenario where they're additionally distracted due to flipping through web pages or watching the latest YouTube cat video on their glasses too.

Leosghost




msg:4552175
 4:16 pm on Mar 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Pussibly..

Str82u




msg:4552199
 5:09 pm on Mar 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Within a half hour of a hangout with AdSense people I had an email from G+ telling me to provide a real name and if I wanted to remain anonymous, G+ was not for me.

JohnRoy




msg:4552459
 7:16 am on Mar 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Str82u - "Using real names is useful," is what Cerf (and the email from G+) said.

"But I don't think it should be forced on people, and I don't think we do."

It's up to you to decide if G+ is for you.

For the time being, they didn't force it..... ;)

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