AAPL Stock: 117.98 ( -0.05 )

Printed from

Google exec: users will not be forced to use real names

updated 12:33 pm EST, Tue March 5, 2013

Vint Cerf defends anonymity in certain situations

Despite Google's recent push for users to register accounts under their actual names, executive Vint Cerf has acknowledged the necessity of pseudonyms in certain cases. In an interview with Reuters, the search giant's "chief Internet evangelist" noted that the company internally debated the issue, amid growing criticism, and eventually came to the conclusion that "choice is important."

The executive admits that some users living in countries with oppressive governments may encounter "fatal trouble" if they are found to post certain content to social networks under their real names. However he also argues that in most cases "Using real names is useful."

"Anonymity and pseudonymity are perfectly reasonable under some situations," Cerf said. "But there are cases where in the transactions both parties really need to know who are we talking to."

Google has stopped short of requiring any official government-issued identification to verify an identity for Google+ accounts, which can now be used as the primary login for some third-party services. The use of alternative names nonetheless appears to fall into a grey area, however, as the company only officially approves pseudonyms for a small number of users.

"So what I'm looking for is not that we shut down anonymity, but rather that we offer an option when needed that can strongly authenticate who the parties are," Cerf added.

by MacNN Staff



Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented