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Google+ is an identity service, says Schmidt

John Moe Aug 29, 2011

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was in Edinburgh over the weekend for an international TV conference and was asked by NPR’s Andy Carvin about Google+’s real name policy. Schmidt said that people who want to use fake names just shouldn’t use the service.

Regarding people who are concerned about their safety, he 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+. Regarding countries like Iran and Syria, people there have no expectation of privacy anyway due to their government’s own policies, which implies (to me, at least) that Schmidt thinks there’s no point of even trying to have a service that allows pseudonyms.

This, he said, is because Google+ is just a foundation for a much larger initiative of having your real identity stored online through Google. The idea is to use your Google ID as a passport for all the places online you need to sign in, all the stuff you want to buy, just do it all through Google (and watch some ads from time to time, presumably). Before you get freaked out about One Google World Order, please know that various tech companies have been trying to do this for years and it never really takes off. I would argue that’s because people just think it’s creepy.

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