Google and anonymity: the pro contro?

Fin dalla nascita, Google , the social network eponymous search engine, distinguished himself in the fight against anonymous profiles or covered with fake names. This a powder’ by surprise, therefore, discover, as they would on the website Slashdot, that at the same moment in which the search engine fights anonymity shall also “patenting”.

The service rules are clear and quite strict in discouraging the use of false identities: “Google considers the connection between people on the Web as the connection between people in the real world. For this reason, it is important to use your common name, so that the people with whom you want to get in touch they can find us” is explained in the page on the rules governing the creation of their digital identity. A policy that, recently, it was desired to extend to YouTube.

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This a powder’ by surprise, therefore, discover, as they would on the website Slashdot, that at the same moment in which the search engine fights anonymity shall also “patenting”. It would in fact, sifting nell'Uspto, Registered United States Patent, Google has invented and “licensed” a system for the creation and management of multiple aliases on social networks, to protect the user from the risk of stalking or identity theft.

It's called “Social computing personas for protecting identity in online social interactions” and, as stated in the brief description of the register, “engine uses an account to receive information for a plurality of identity (people) and to associate the information in the different identity to an account”. Which means, in substance? Apparently, that Google would have found a way to save both ways. With its patented, would allow its members to be visible to the outside with one or more pseudonyms, but would have no way of knowing that those nicknames refer to a person with a well-defined identity. You register as Andrea Rossi, but some contacts in your circles on the social network could know you as Ramses II, or any other nickname. The conditional, of course, is a must, since the technology, fresh patent, has not yet been integrated on any service.

 

The battle against anonymity online, who had also sacrosanct foundations, cost, however, in the cancellation of many Google, perhaps too many account. The habit of hiding or, if you prefer, behind pseudonyms to protect themselves is deeply rooted in the habits of users. Hard, therefore, cancel. Yet, when you take a matter of principle, does not make a great impression find shortcuts. The search engine has always supported the need for transparency and sincerity on its network, because virtual relationships overlapped to the real ones. The proposed solution, instead, would seem to give a legal guarantees to Google, and partly also to the user, but replicate the model of anonymity in online relationships, with the implicit admission that appear on the Web still involves some risk.