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Eric Schmidt: If You Don't Want To Use Your Real Name, Don't Use Google+
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msg:4356138
 12:39 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Eric Schmidt: If You Don’t Want To Use Your Real Name, Don’t Use Google+

Google+ was meant to be an identity service, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said this weekend, shedding some light on Google’s reasoning behind Google+’s controversial real-name policy.



[mashable.com...]

 

wheel




msg:4356150
 2:13 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, that seals its fate right there. No anonymity, no sale.

I wouldn't even be on this forum if I couldn't be anonymous.

Leosghost




msg:4356152
 2:26 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

^^^ what he said.

Lapizuli




msg:4356160
 3:35 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Me, too.

For Louis L'Amour fans: Would the Wild West have become so populous if folks had said ingenuously, before there was any effective law... "Who am I? Why, I'm Jacob Helvis Pinter-Johansen from Alabama, and me and my six kids and frail wife here, we're hoping to squat on this big lot of land we found right over by the water - here's a map. We don't have us a weapon, because we're peaceful folk. We're really happy to meet y'all...."

No, if L'Amour had it right, what they said was, "Howdy. We don't ask for names here. If you're good people, we'll give ya a hand, if you're bad people, we'll shoot ya."

Schmidt has the right idea, sort of, maybe (I haven't yet read his take on it). We do need accountability on the web. Badly. Eventually. Nobody trusts anyone and that limits what can be accomplished. But not while people still feel like sitting ducks. A LOT more has to change. And NOT primarily so Google can keep track of who's an authority.

From the link above:
Paraphrasing Schmidt’s comments, Carvin wrote that the Google exec also said the Internet “would be better if we knew you were a real person rather than a dog or a fake person. Some people are just evil and we should be able to ID them and rank them downward.”


And this is what's scary. We're free not to participate, but if we don't participate, we're evil?

Hmmm, does that sound familiar...?

onepointone




msg:4356162
 3:49 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Some people are just evil and we should be able to ID them and rank them downward.


Ranked downward = evil? OK.

I hope they don't de-index me. Not my websites (they've already done that), I mean de-index me.

jecasc




msg:4356200
 8:37 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

If they would charge for Google+ I would perhaps be willing to join. Because then I would have some confidence that they earn enough money from my subscription so they do not have to sell me.

I once read somewhere:
If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold.

So true.

But I guess Google would probably take my subscription money and sell me anyway.

Staffa




msg:4356232
 10:18 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

So Schmidt is basically saying that Google+ is the capping stone on all the data they collected about everyone who lets themselves be tracked by them to finally put a name on all that data.

MrFewkes




msg:4356241
 11:09 am on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Its a joke.

They are getting "better" by the minute.

Are they on some kind of self destruct pathway? I hope so.

jmccormac




msg:4356255
 12:48 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google is doing a very good job of promoting Facebook. It has become the !Evil Empire even though it still tries to spin that PR image of being a bunch of lovable geeks.

Regards...jmcc

tedster




msg:4356309
 3:24 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

At first this seemed a bit crazy to me. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Other social sites have been plagued by fake names, cyber-squatting and the like. This was especially true on Twitter and Facebook, and maybe not so much on LinkedIn.

So I now understand this as an "announcement of intention" from Google. What remains to be seen is how well they can enforce it - it's a pretty adventurous restriction.

Lapizuli




msg:4356322
 3:52 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

@tedster, I don't get the impression this is about quality control, but rather about how it will be able to help Google identify authority.

Isn't the newish rel=author tag recursive, where you need to link to a Google profile for it to be recognized? As in, if the rel=author tag is to have any effect in building your reputation, Google will know your real name? And if there is no rel=author tag, what is Google going to do about that? Especially if they think that no Google+ "real identity" profile signifies evil...

I actually head in the other direction as most folks - I like the idea of keeping track of people online - when we're ready. I think that like it or not, society is moving online in a big way, and we need to develop trust somehow.

But it doesn't need to be this benevolent/malevolent/Orwellian model that Google/government/people seem to hold. There are other ways it could go.

To get really science-fictiony, I could see us each having assorted different legit "identities," depending on the affiliation group, tracked securely only by a unified trusted source (yes, I know, who do you trust, but there ya go), with each one semi-anonymous. Why limit ourselves to one "real" one when we're not limited by bodies and territories? Anyway, that's a scary/wild vision, but we don't know what identity will even look like in the next century or so. The concept of "self" certainly changed in the previous one - it was all about moving the body here and there, giving it product, etc. Now that body is dispersed everywhere in avatars. The Internet's made everything wonky...

Sorry for the segue - but the point is, I don't like Google as the gatekeeper here, because their intention IS rather Orwellian, in my view.

mhansen




msg:4356345
 4:46 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

We just have to face it, Google+ belongs to Google Inc, and they can do whatever they want in their products. In my case, I exercised what I can control... and that was to remove Google+, and all associated social features related to my Google account.

I also chose to share that suggestion, based on my opinion and beliefs, to my family, friends, and customers.

MH (Google-1)

ken_b




msg:4356349
 5:00 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's a matter of trust.

I don't trust Google that much. They already have enough info about me, much of which I handed over voluntarily, enough of that.

wheel




msg:4356361
 5:37 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I'm seriously creeped out now when my phone starts up and I see the Google logo. And they've now got my email address at their marketplace. Not good. A hand check would reveal my real name and location, but I'm not going to hand it to them.

It's crazy when one company is so integrated into technology that if I want to realistically browse or use my phone I have to reveal my identity to them or basically remove myself from society.

Whitey




msg:4356469
 11:33 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

"primarily an identity service?"

This is key, in the context of the following remark :

"if they're going to build future products that leverage that information."


So who is Google building this service for? Google or you ?

g1smd




msg:4356471
 11:45 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

...or the The Feds?

supercyberbob




msg:4356480
 12:13 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Two words.

Don't flipping tell me what to do Eric Schmidt.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4356482
 12:21 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Eric Schmidt: If You Don’t Want To Use Your Real Name, Don’t Use Google+


Thanks for the warning, Eric, and since you've not yet found a foolproof way to protect my real information I won't use Google+. Good luck with your product and I hope it does better than +1.

To webmasters: Eric forgot an important lesson, that's to let the users define your product and tailor it to THEIR desires, not yours. Imagine Myspace had they not allowed users to hack templates... You'd have a Bebo or a Classmates on your hands.

P.S. I hope that the VERY FIRST person to get stalked, raped or murdered because their real information fell into the hands of a criminal causes a massive privacy lawsuit against Google. It's apparently going to be needed to get the privacy is paramount message across.

P.S.S. the minute I get an inkling that sites who have an author who's real identity is available, instead of a pen name, rank better in search I will remove all trace of any Google product from all of my websites, immediately, as well as use private browsing + cookie blocking and close my Google accounts. Don't force the issue, Eric, or you'll be gathering less data from me and my visitors.

lucy24




msg:4356497
 1:06 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

GWT just asked for my phone number at logon. Otherwise, dire things might happen if I should ever happen to forget my password. Or was it if someone else should happen to learn the password? Something like that, anyway.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4356514
 2:18 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

I got that warning too, ignore it. Eric's comment of "building future applications that leverage this information" speaks volumes about the intentions of Google. His response of "don't use it" as a way to protect your identity speaks volumes about Google's lack of care towards privacy.

Perhaps someone should create an app that gives you the credit card numbers of every Google employee, and if the employee doesn't like it they can Quit Google... then we'd be on even terms with Eric's views imo.

koan




msg:4356523
 3:17 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Imagine Myspace had they not allowed users to hack templates... You'd have a Bebo or a Classmates on your hands.


Myspace could have become Facebook if it wasn't for the nauseating templates. In contrast, Facebook was an visual oasis and became instantly more credible.

I still won't create public accounts with my real name anywhere though. I'm not going to volunteer tons of personal information on the web, what I am up to, who are my friends, where I am, etc... that's just being careless, too many criminals and unethical corporations out there.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4356524
 3:28 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Businessweek also reported on this story and I think their title says it better...

Google Confirms It Aims to Own Your Online ID

[businessweek.com...]

Sorry Google, mines not for sale and I'm DEFINITELY not giving it to you for free. Enough is enough.

CainIV




msg:4356559
 5:24 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)


It has become the !Evil Empire even though it still tries to spin that PR image of being a bunch of lovable geeks.


+1

HuskyPup




msg:4356636
 11:17 am on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

It amazes me that Google has absolutely no respect for my privacy, just why do they feel they have the right to do this?

Good link to Business Week, I've been forwarding this to many people.

frontpage




msg:4356672
 1:17 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

How long before you are required to have a Google+ account to use Gmail, Adsense, Adwords, or any other Google service?

Seems like the logical next step.

Facebook is the biggest "identity service" on the Web, and the company is already on track to building what amounts to an "online passport."

rlange




msg:4356695
 2:18 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Sgt_Kickaxe wrote:
To webmasters: Eric forgot an important lesson, that's to let the users define your product and tailor it to THEIR desires, not yours. Imagine Myspace had they not allowed users to hack templates... You'd have a Bebo or a Classmates on your hands.

Facebook seems to have done exceptionally well without the ability to customize the look of your profile.

P.S. I hope that the VERY FIRST person to get stalked, raped or murdered because their real information fell into the hands of a criminal causes a massive privacy lawsuit against Google. It's apparently going to be needed to get the privacy is paramount message across.

I think your local phone book is far more prone to this sort of lawsuit. Besides, does Google also require your home address before giving you a Google+ profile?

Let's be honest here, folks... Your name alone does not uniquely identify you. You're not that special.

--
Ryan

netmeg




msg:4356699
 2:35 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google can do what they want with Google+. It's their playground. Personally, I don't think it will work out the way they intend. People have been trying to legislate user behavior on the net as long as there's been one (I've been watching idiots online since 1985, remember) and it hasn't ever worked yet.

Moreover Google has a serious disconnect with its users that has taken a quantum leap in 2011. They think we should be grateful that they're giving us all this cool and seemingly free stuff, and we're getting more and more creeped out.

Google: Look, we're gonna give you this and that and those, and all you have to do is fill out this form and tell us everything we want to know about you, and here's some Angry Birds, and we bought another company just so we can give you...see here? *Shiny* !

Us: Wow, thanks, looks interesting, but I'm okay with what I'm doing and what I have now.

Google: But you should be GRATEFUL! It's FREE and all your friends are using it, and we're cleaning up the web and making you safe, and if you use it too, we might de-Pandalize your website or we might not, but do you really want to risk it? and by the way can we have your phone number and your dog's name too?

Us: Um, don't stand so close to me.


They're rapidly turning into the "funny uncle" of the internets.

wheel




msg:4356704
 2:46 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Let's be honest here, folks... Your name alone does not uniquely identify you. You're not that special.

You're incorrect. It's been shown that your search history alone can be enough to uniquely identify you.

Someone with my name alone would absolutely be able to pin down exactly who I am, where I live, and thanks to Google streetview, what's in my garage.

In fact, simply knowing my main site would divulge this information.

Leosghost




msg:4356708
 2:51 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

@netmeg..its posts like that one that make me glad I have a waterproof keyboard ;-)

still laughing ...thankyou ;-)

+ lots

rlange




msg:4356715
 3:06 pm on Aug 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

wheel wrote:
It's been shown that your search history alone can be enough to uniquely identify you.

I'm curious about this claim. Can you source it? I suspect that it's not the search history alone that's enough. The IP address of the computer/network that the search originated from, cross-referencing search history with statements made by the subject elsewhere, etc...

Either way, that wouldn't be "name alone".

And, really, if search history alone could uniquely identify someone, why are the folks complaining about that and the Google+'s real name policy even on social networks? You can't tell me that posting on a social network can't also uniquely identify a person if search history can.

Someone with my name alone would absolutely be able to pin down exactly who I am, where I live, and thanks to Google streetview, what's in my garage.

You either have a fairly unique name, or are well-known enough that your name is commonly associated with you, specifically. If you can provide other possibilities without giving up any personal information, I'd be interested in reading them.

In fact, simply knowing my main site would divulge this information.

As would knowing either of my personal sites; they're both registered in my name, with my address and phone number. But that's also not "name alone".

--
Ryan

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