Nowhere To Hide On Google Plus…

Been watching the debate around Google Plus and the service’s refusal to allow pseudonyms or aliases. And everyone’s frothing at the mouth about this, with words like “invasion of privacy” and “lack of safety” being tossed about.

I’ll wager a lot of people on that other identity service known as Facebook use their real names, for their network of friends and colleagues to be able to identify them. A lot of those people also make use of Facebook’s (often confusing and mostly futile) privacy settings to control the information they share.

What’s the difference between that and Google Plus? Nothing.

This just reminds me of when geo-location services launched and everyone was all “OMFG! Now bad guys will know when you’re not home and PWN you and steal your cat! WTF!? ROFLCOPTER!”  Well, how many reported crimes do you know of have geo-location services as part of the tools used to commit those crimes?

Anyone got an answer? Didn’t think so.

And if you still have an issue with Google Plus using your information like it does, then here’s an extract from an interview Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt had with NPR  in Scotland:

Regarding people who are concerned about their safety, he [Schmidt] said G+ is completely optional. No one is forcing you to use it. It’s obvious for people at risk if they use their real names, they shouldn’t use G+.

And I agree. We’ve already signed away our privacy to Facebook for Facebook Connect and the “advantages” it brings: Facebook Credits, Facebook authenticated blog comments, online advertising... OK, maybe not the last one. At the very least, Google is going to do the same.

What I’m trying to say is that if you have an issue with Google Plus, you have an issue with Facebook. And let’s be honest, both of them are businesses that need our information to remain afloat. You need to decide if you’re going to remain anonymous or if you’re going to suck it up, throw on your big people pants and take responsibility for your own information online.

So what’s it going to be?


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