Google Gets User ID Criticism from Web Evangelist Vint Cerf: Report
Vint Cerf, chief Internet evangelist for Google, says Google shouldn't force users to reveal their real names to use online services.Google's almost two-year push to require users of its online services to reveal their real names has an unlikely critic: Vint Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist, who is also credited as the "Father of the Internet." Cerf said that by forcing people to use their real names, it can hurt social media users in nations that are ruled by oppressive regimes where such transparency can be a true danger. Cerf made his comments in an interview with Reuters that probed his feelings about Google's identity policies, which have been reviewed by the company several times since they were implemented in 2011, when it launched its Google+ social network. Cerf told Reuters that the company's move toward real-name authentication for Google+ and other services "has sparked intense debate" inside the company. At the same time, he said, the latest name policy does allow some users to display pseudonyms and generally gives enough options to users. "Using real names is useful," Cerf said. "But I don't think it should be forced on people, and I don't think we do."
At the same time, Cerf told Reuters, there are legitimate cases where the use of real names online is a good thing.