rlange - 2:09 pm on Aug 31, 2011 (gmt 0)
The AOL 'anonymized' data dump they did years ago and released on the web. Search history alone identified a number of people.
Ah, yes. That's actually not a valid rebuttal to my point about "name alone", though. The one publicly identified individual gave quite a few clues in her searches:
And search by search, click by click, the identity of AOL user No. 4417749 became easier to discern. There are queries for "landscapers in Lilburn, Ga," several people with the last name Arnold and "homes sold in shadow lake subdivision gwinnett county georgia."
You know they found personal details of Eric Schmidt online just by searching right?
He falls under the "well-known enough" category, wouldn't you agree? Certainly within certain circles that talk about him on the Internet. I suppose the point is that if you don't want people to know anything about you, don't be anybody.
Just from this forum, people know that I don't live in a large city. They know I sell some type of niche product online. They know some general details about my social/family situation. Throw in my name into a search and determining which individual I am is easy. then throw in the fact that I ran for a local political office and they publish personal details online, and you've got my home address and cellphone number. And with my previous ISP, if you did a reverse lookup of my home IP, you got my name - so you could get all this info just from my visiting your site and you checking your logs.
Throw in some other cross connections that could be made, and you end up not just with a unique identity, but a pretty complete picture.
Sure, but most of that doesn't even require a name. You're arguing that people shouldn't post personal details online, which is fine, but others here are simply complaining about requiring your real name.
Again... Your name does not uniquely identify you; all that other stuff does. If you're posting about your personal life in the small town that you live in and which restaurant you just went to, it doesn't matter if you're doing it under an alias. Conversely, if all you're posting about is SEO tips, news, and various other technical matters, your real name is not going to identify you specifically.