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back to article Google+ is an identity service, Schmidt says

Hoping, perhaps, to bring the curtain down on the so-called ‘nym wars’, Google chairman Eric Schmidt has discussed the advertising giant’s identity policies in a Q&A at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International TV Festival. Google+, which the outside world thinks of as another social networking service, is in fact something else …

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Bronze badge
Coffee/keyboard

Creepiest, evilest shit EVER...

...but at least we heard it from Mr. Creepy himself. Sonofabitch really doesn't get it, and really doesn't care.

One more reason to stay the hell away from Google+ -- as if I needed any more reasons than the fact it's from Google.

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Anonymous Coward

I think he does

Putting two sentences together:

"there are people who do really evil and wrong things on the Internet, and it would be useful if we had strong identity so we could weed them out." ... "we could check them, we could give them things …bill them, you know, we could have credit cards and so forth … there are all sorts of reasons."

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FAIL

google+ is dead

rather than quell the problem, he just made it worse, people didn't sign up for G+ because it was an identity service, they signed up because, for example:

a) thought they'd find something better than facebook

b) thought it was a social network

c) invited all their friends and was disappointed because nobody turned up

and yes, even thought it's beta that just makes it worse, annoy them with the nymwars and rather than have an open door to let people replace those who leave due to the nymwars, they cap the number of users. all that is going to do is reduce the number of people in the network.

people didn't sign up for that, did they? they signed up for a social network which might be better than facebook and then the next thing they hear, oh, it's really an identity service, with social network as a "hook" to get people to use it.....hmmm...doesn't sound so great anymore, sounds like you just got trapped like a monkey in a cage...oopsie, that banana doesn't look so tasty anymore now, does it....

yes, I know it's optional, I know I don't HAVE to use it, or HAVE to sign up. But there is an old expression that starts with: one day they came for the journalists, but I was not a journalist, so I did nothing...

each new restriction doesn't sound so bad until you look at the full picture, then you realise just how much you've lost, or how much things have changed. people don't realise that, so it's up to me to tell them, I argued with two technologically inclined friends the same situation just a couple of days ago, I was mouth open at how "I Don't care" they both were....

lastly, do you need to be told I'm a real person? if I act a dick, I'm sure you can hit the block button yourself right? why does my real name matter? people act dicks all the time even with their real name. think for yourself, hit the button yourself, why does it matter my real name....it's easy to do and you actually get to use your brain for once rather than delegate to the almighty google.

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Bronze badge
Pint

@Chris

"Lastly, do you need to be told I'm a real person? if I act a dick, ..."

I've actually been a Dick for 57 years. In spite of what Eric The Stupid says about his 20 year thought experiment, believe me when I say that people who want to correct "bad names" are much more evil than the shallow, uncritical thinkers.

I agree with the rest too. Good rant :o)

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I've actually been a Dick for 57 years.

I know people half your age who've been dicks for much longer than that.

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Meh

dichotomy

Google would like to use this as a very detailed database of sales leads.

Users would like to use it to communicate with each other.

Until bto the user and Google want the same thing, it's not going to be perfect!

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Stop

"Who is Google One?" "You are Google Six!"

Schmittchen's sayings are pretty schizotastic (let's stay charitable here). He will certainly be getting hearings and success in the corridors of power. And he has been thinking about the problems of identity since the Internet was telnet, usenet and IRC? Somewhat an authoritarian mindest here, wouldn't you think?

At least Google comes clean about what it wants.

NO! I DON'T WANNA BE A GOOGLE NUMBER!

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Happy

No, wait...

>> He admits this is a problem in countries with oppressive attitudes to their citizens or their citizens’ communications,

>>but adds that “sensibilities are different”. “There, there’s no

>> assumption of privacy, everybody assumes the Internet is bugged and that the secret police are after them.”

Whereas, here in the west, we know that's not true, right?

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@nyelvmark

>> >>"“There, there’s no assumption of privacy, everybody assumes the Internet is bugged and that the secret police are after them.”

>>"Whereas, here in the west, we know that's not true, right?"

Well, here, /most/ people /don't/ assume 'the secret police are after them'.

Unless they're one of the fairly small number of people who have done something or are planning on doing something likely to be of interest to the security services, or they'd like to pretend they might be, or they have more serious issues.

I'm struggling to think of people I know who might be of meaningful interest to UK security services, and honestly, I'm not sure I can think of anyone.

I dare say that like most people, I will probably know some people who might be of interest to the /police/, but in the real world, I'm not sure how many of /them/ would lie awake at night worrying that their phone is being tapped or their web access snooped on.

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FAIL

Mein Gott

The Google PR division need to gag Schmidt, tie him up and throw him into a sound-proof room.

He has clearly lost the plot / become disconnected from normal people and is doing huge damage to the Google brand.

Plus making himself sound like he wants to be the fuhrer of ze internet doesn't help (Yea, yea, Godwin invoked.)

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Thumb Up

/r

El Reg to please refer to Schmidt in future as 'Ze Fuhrer einz der Internets'.

PLEEEEEEEEEASE?

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Happy

Bad for Google, good for the rest of humanity

I agree that having Schmidt spout off his innermost fantasies is bad for the Google brand.

However, I would argue that it serves a useful purpose to have the Schmidt-mind-leaks widely disseminated, for the good of rest of the world that is not Google. It gives us insight into some of the true intentions underlying some of Google's strategies. It also serves to remind us that, though more benign than most other corporations (either inside or outside IT), we cannot assume that everything Google does is entirely benevolent.

Yes, Google's motto is "Don't be evil", but I think that we as the public should be the judge of that, not the Google PR department. My view: let Schmidt speak as often as possible!

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Original AC here

Yes, fully agreed. I was typing mainly for humourous intent ;~)

I avoid google as much as possible now and when not possible I make sure all requets go via the googlesharing firefox extension.

Mainly because of their post IPO actions, size and reach, and Ze Fuhrer einz der Internets

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Bronze badge

Not using my real name.

I am on Facebook, I'll admit it. And I'm on there using a pseudonym known to my friends. Why? Because I am an IT *professional* and I want to keep my private life separate from my professional life. So I use pseudonyms for my "private life" accounts. If Google can't get that through their little heads, then they have a serious problem.

Hey, Google, here's a solution to your identity "problem" that most Forum software had since the 90s: People open accounts using their real name (for accountability) but are allowed to use a screen name for their posts (for anonymity). Why not translate that mechanism to G+, you idiots?

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Silver badge

Other side of the coin, Neoc ...

I am not on GooMyFaceYouTwit. I do have internet presence.

My friends & family know how to access my personal site. And do.

If you're all that gifted, why not create space that your friends & family can utilize, without having to access marketard-created space? It ain't exactly rocket science.

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Billing

Amazon and Ebay manage to bill me without me having to make my government-registered name public. After a 20 year think, Schmidt can't work out how to do it.

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Facepalm

Hilarious fail is hailrious.

So ... neoc creates neocbook.com and invites all his / her friends. I create deebook.com and invite all my friends.

So where does Terry, our mutual friend, post details about his party? Indeed, where does anyone post anything when everyone has their own social network site where everyonre is supposed to post? Should everyone post everything on every site? It may not be rocket science but you've certainly failed to understand its basic core principle. There's more than just "I" in social.

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@John Dee

"It may not be rocket science but you've certainly failed to understand its basic core principle. There's more than just "I" in social."

But what you GooMyFaceYouTwits fail to understand is that the marketards are stripping dollars from you because you don't understand the medium you are attempting to utilize.

Your bud Terry doesn't have anything to do with me & mine ... and quite frankly, none of us give a rat's ass about him/her. Terry's not important. We don't care.

My social network involves actually rubbing elbows. Socializing.

Scary, isn't it?

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Paris Hilton

Keep on failin'

"you GooMyFaceYouTwits"

I don't currently use any internet-based social networking services.

"you [...] fail to understand"

Do you have some evidence for this, or are you just accusing me of stupidity in order to cover up your own? You shouldn't equate using something that has negative effects with failing to understand those negative effects. For example, inhaling cigarette smoke. And you shouldn't be so blinded by the negatives of something that you can see no positive. For example, inhaling oxygen.

Can you say cost-benefit analysis? The rest of us can.

"the marketards are stripping dollars from you"

I know you like to pretend that everything you consume was shat from the horse's ass, but somewhere along the line you bought something made by a company, and in all probability someone at that company took the time to smooth a few corners, to form that function a little, so that more units would shift, and someone else at that company took the time to tell people about the smoothed corners, so that more units would shift, and both those people almost certainly got paid for their time, and that payment was funded by an increase in the price of the thing with the smoothed corners, and boom, there you are being stripped by the marketards.

"you don't understand the medium you are attempting to utilize."

See above.

"Your bud Terry doesn't have anything to do with me & mine ... and quite frankly, none of us give a rat's ass about him/her. Terry's not important. We don't care."

And neoc and I couldn't give a damn about you and yours, but seeing as you brought them up ...

"My social network involves actually rubbing elbows. Socializing."

You don't phone your friends to invite them to parties?

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@John Dee

"I don't currently use any internet-based social networking services."

So what's your point? Seems to me you're pretty much in the same space I am.

"See above."

See above.

"And neoc and I couldn't give a damn about you and yours, but seeing as you brought them up ... "

All y'all were twattering about so-called "social networking". I was pointing out the stupidity & fallacies of same.

"You don't phone your friends to invite them to parties?"

Uh ... no. WeRubElbows[tm] here in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. Local folks know where and when. Invitations are for out-of-towners & television "personalities", not locals ...

Try to understand, local shit is local shit. The rest of the planet shouldn't care what we are doing here in Northern California, regardless of what a billion dollar global multinational marketing company is trying to sell ...

::wanders off, muttering about kids these days::

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Paris Hilton

Twattering

"Seems to me you're pretty much in the same space I am."

No. I see the point of them. You don't. You think everyone who uses them is a twit. I don't.

"All y'all were twattering ..."

And then you joined in. Looks like you're not averse to a little twattery yourself, eh? On a platform that allows for socialising underwritten by advertising, no less.

"I was pointing out the stupidity & fallacies of same."

You tried. But suggesting that we all set up our own networking services was where the fail really started.

"Uh ... no. WeRubElbows[tm] here in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties."

Funny. Every time, I've been that way, there's been telephone lines, internet, mobile phones, a postal service, satellite dishes, radio, etc. And you know ... I could have sworn you said you had a personal website that your friends and family access.

"Local folks know where and when."

Yeah? Communicated via smoke signal?

"Try to understand, local shit is local shit. The rest of the planet shouldn't care what we are doing here in Northern California."

In which case, get off the internet.

"kids these days"

Yeah, you've tried that one before. Lame.

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@John Dee

"But suggesting that we all set up our own networking services was where the fail really started."

And THAT, my friend, is where you totally miss the point.

If you have an Internet[tm] connected machine set up by yourself, by definition you have set up your own networking services. Most people using !GooMyFaceYouMSTwit have no idea as to the implications of this concept. They don't grok the fact that their personal information is being used (en-mass) by multi-billion dollar international marketing companies. Do you really not understand this? Or are you a shill for one of said companies?

Side note: Not smoke signals. Elbow rubs. We use modern communications, but for the most part most of us see each other face-to-face a couple-four times a month, or more, and that's how we communicate. Currently, Crush has started & we're tasting grape juice ...

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Anonymous Coward

Hello Brick Wall, this is Head.

"And THAT, my friend, is where you totally miss the point."

No, jake, it really isn't. I can see your point clumsily trying to raise itself onto its feet from several miles away.

"If you have an Internet[tm] connected machine set up by yourself, by definition you have set up your own networking services. "

And where does my gran, or anyone else untechnical fit into that? And where does one post an invite to a party on such a system. A node isn't a network you know. And a computer network isn't a social network You have to connect. You have to talk. So where does one post? Ones DNS server? Your personal website? Everyone's personal website?

"Most people using !GooMyFaceYouMSTwit have no idea as to the implications of this concept."

See above.

"They don't grok the fact that their personal information is being used (en-mass) by multi-billion dollar international marketing companies. "

Some do, some don't. Some folk don't understand a whole bunch of stuff. So what? Those that do understand that their personal information is being sold and use the services anyway have made a cost-benefit analysis and decided that use of the service is worth the price. That doesn't make them stupid. It just means they have different values from you. People are different, jake. Can you wrap your mind around that? I'd hate to live on a planet that was populated with jakes. As woud you.

"Do you really not understand this? "

Understand what? I understand that some people aren't very clever, I understand that some people trade data for services, I understand a whole bunch of stuff. I think you spilled a little Dunning Kruger down your front.

"Or are you a shill for one of said companies?"

Another lame ad hominem, jake.

Are you a shill for whichever company you bought your laptop from? I mean, you gave them money in exchange for a product. What an idiot! You could have hand-crafted one from the metal you've mined from them thar hills.

"We use modern communications, but for the most part most of us see each other face-to-face a couple-four times a month, or more, and that's how we communicate."

And via your personal website of course. Don't forget that.

As it happens, I'll be back in California tomorrow. It still won't look anything like the bumfuck you pretend it to be. And don't give me some crap about "oh well here in Sonoma ...", because you drove down to Whole Foods the moment you couldn't find any fucking seaweed. You redneck-wannabe hipster douche.

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@John Dee

Paraphrasing the entire thread: The multi-billion-$currency multi-national marketing corporations on the planet are using TehIntraWebTubes[tm] to separate fools from their money faster than The Mob did in the 1920s, or the drug cartels did in the '70s and '80s.

My point is that you don't have to buy tulip futures, and if you have a brain you won't.

Why are you so afraid of what I have to say?

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Anonymous Coward

Afraid? No. Oh dear lord, no.

"To paraphrase"

You're arguing that some people are idiots because they pay for a service that you personally don't see any value in.

I feel the same way about people who drive 30 miles to buy seaweed and 45 miles to buy a cold beer. I mean ... why not make your own?

Horses for courses.

"The [...] multi-national marketing corporations [...] are using [the internet] to separate fools from their money faster than [...] the drug cartels did in the '70s and '80s"

That's some shiny fucking hyperbole you got there boy. Care to put it in perspective with some actual costings? Exactly how much money is your average Facebook user handing over? What's the monetary value of "I like cats" to the user, and where could they sell it for cash?

"My point is that you don't have to buy tulip futures, and if you have a brain you won't."

Great. So ... the speculators, the multi-billion dollars companies ... they're the stupid ones. That's a very different argument.

"Why are you so afraid of what I have to say?"

Um ... wut? Afraid? So ... I'm stupid, a child, a shill, and now a coward. Any actual arguments behind those insults?

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Silver badge

Apparently, I've picked up a fanboi.

Multi famam, conscientiam pauci verentur.[1]

Die dulci fruere.

::plink::

[1] Thanks, Pliny. I never thought my Latin classes would come in handy :-)

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Anonymous Coward

You've tried that one before too.

As previously explained, jake, I have what's known as a memory. I use it to store things like previous conversations. It's a requisite part of successful socialising. As also previously explained ... hyperlinks. Using either of the two might stop you from contradicting yourself from one post to the next.

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Black Helicopters

"countries with oppressive attitudes to their citizens or their citizens’ communications"

Thing is, Mr Schmidt, that includes the US and the UK.

If you don't believe it, take off your tinted glasses and spend some time on YouTube - you own that now, right? So you could even get one of your lackeys to put a watchlist together for you.

Sure, it's relative. No one is saying 'The West' is as bad as (for example) Iran.

And if you don't think it's scary that one company should have access not only to all our habits and interests, in extraordinary detail, but also to our assured legal identities and our social networks, then you are a tool, in multiple senses. I've resigned myself to it now, with G+. I given up that particular fight. That makes me sad - in particular it makes me sad that it should be Google, about the only major tech company I had any respect left for (thank Twitter for keeping the flag of decency aloft), that forced me into defeat.

But I will still try and keep to the moral high ground; I will still strive to fight for and/or support that which is RIGHT; and so I will still be a thorn in the side of oppression; you're just making it a hell of a lot easier for those with power, an agenda, and perverted morals to monitor, and oppress where 'necessary' voices of dissent.

I don't know if there's a dedicated fibre running from the Googleplex to the NSA* - maybe there is, maybe there isn't. Is there? Do you know? Are you sure? Can you really be sure?

Cos I'm sure as damn that there are folks in the intelligence world who would like one.

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Happy

@Jaymax

>>But I will still try and keep to the moral high ground; I will still strive to fight for and/or support that which is RIGHT; and so I will still be a thorn in the side of oppression

You do know that you're wearing your underpants outside your trousers, right?

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I'll express myself

Schmidt wants users to express themselves. I'll express myself, all right. I'll even be using my "real name". But I wont be doing it on Google+, because Google+ hates their users and doesn't care if they are harassed, fired, or arrested by third-world stormtroopers.

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Paris Hilton

Thinking about lack of identification since 1991 ?

Why, what happened ? I'd wager a bloke posing as a chick on IRC left him high and dry.

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Facepalm

I should have known better...

...than to read comments while drinking coffee.

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WTF?

The most disturbing quote

"Saying that he’s been thinking about identity for 20 years, Schmidt calls it a “hard problem”: “The Internet would be better if we had an accurate notion that you were a real person”, he says."

Seriously, he has really been thinking about this for 20 years? and this is what he comes up with? How on earth do these people get anyone to give them money?

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Boffin

Even more worrying...

...is that in 20 years he's apparently not come across the 7 laws of identity -

1. User Control and Consent

2. Minimal Disclosure for a Constrained Use

3. Justifiable Parties

4. Directed Identity

5. Pluralism of Operators and Technologies

6. Human Integration

7. Consistent Experience Across Contexts

http://www.identityblog.com/stories/2004/12/09/thelaws.html

If he followed those I might actually consider signing up to a (any) Google service.

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Silver badge

Luckily..

..I already know who I am and therefore have no need of Google's service.

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Anonymous Coward

Very well played sir. My hat's off to you.

Of course, an identity service, or "identity provider" in the lingo, is the first class citizen telling all the second class citizens in the system who the others are. This in and of itself doesn't actually tell you squat, so you need a fourth party (an "attribute provider") to tell you what that identity means. Which in turn means the system is leaking identity information because only that attribute is what matters. Wonderful design innit?

If dear Schmidt (Page... Shmage. Brin... Shmin. Schmidt.... Shmidt?) had been thinking about an *identity* service instead of a marketing data slurping service, he might've found a way to let yourself tell everyone else who you think you are and let the rest agree or disagree, in a system containing only first class citizens. But of course that's not the sort of thing big corporate bigwigs think about. Would be nice if he'd been honest about that, but well, he wasn't.

Tangentially, notice how the big deal with the latest root CA ruckus (and the RSA break-in for that matter) is that the damage control hinges on whether you're forthcoming with the information everyone wants to hear and also the way you provide it, as in whether you still seem honest. As such, the transparent lies aren't helping this guy's case.

On the same note, notice how facebook is slowly pervading as a de-facto "identity service" too, catching on where openid so much did not, and then notice how often they've massively put their foot in it, again. It's probably time their userbase caught up on what's happening and stopped relying on them, especially for third party site logins and such.

The thing is, Schmidt wants the data facebook is sitting on. Too bad for him he's outperforming a second-hand car salesman in sleazyness. Too bad for everyone else facebook has the bone, as they can't be trusted with it either.

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Trollface

I am not a Google number...

I am a human being!

<-- elephant-man like icon

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Unhappy

starting with point 0?

try communicating with humans for a bit. We start counting at 1.

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@AC

Do you program in Pascal or something?

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Linux

OK

I'll have to give RMS the word that he's going to have to edit the GPL

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Black Helicopters

Narrow Escape

Well I'm glad I never got an invite.... Saves me having to cancel this thing, and knowing it still has my details somewhere.

It's starting to sound like Google wants to be the unelected government of the internet.

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Silver badge

There's a saying about...

Giving them enough rope and they will hang themselves.......

Roll on the gallows.......

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truth will out

Out of the mouth of ex CEOs

"....bill them,...."

thats the end game

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Anonymous Coward

The 20 year itch to monetize your legal identity

If he'd been *thinking* about *identity* he'd long ago come to the insight that nyms are not merely nice, but necessary. Dip your smallest toe in psychology and learn that every person has several "natural" identities and (most of us anyway) only one "synthetic", or legal one. Insisting all of the former must fit into the latter is, well, not really thinking about identity. At All.

But it is clear evidence of him thinking about monetizing, at least as long as it took him to cook up the concept of google+, which doesn't look like it's taken 20 years. Him wanting you to "express yourself" is the lure. Him wanting to drag in your friends and "connect" to them is the glue on the fly paper. Him wanting you to stick to your legal identity is to make sure he's got something worth to sell. It's like facebook, only expressly setup to slurp up your data.

It's the legal variant on that Italian truck driver swapping tapes with connections at various companies and compiling a huge database searchable on some 37-odd keys full of real people, and monetising that treasure trove to marketeers. Makes sense given that he's an advertiser.

But it does go to show that this little spider is lying through his teeth trying to spin this positively for you-the-product. In that context, this is indeed a wonderful quote:

"There, there’s no assumption of privacy, everybody assumes the Internet is bugged and that the secret police are after them."

Oh, and is that why you're trying to force the issue of real names now? "Don't be evil" indeed. Needless to say I'll sign up and feed it data in just the same way I do with facebook: Not at all by preference, only handing out completely fake data if I must. But Schmidt doesn't like that, for it makes the data so much less valuable.

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WTF?

".... we could rank them"

You're fucking kidding me, right?

So. Google want to have a ranking system for people.

Sorry sir you haven’t scored highly enough on the Google Respectomatic™ (which, I assume will be a sort of permanent thumbs up/down on your entire life) to be allowed to shop here, get a job and whatever else small minded bigots want to deny you on the word of some internet trolls.

This is some of the craziest shit I’ve heard and to think it's from a company that seems to have hugely undue influence with my government makes me shudder.

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Anonymous Coward

Social Capital

Social Capital is an old idea and one we have in an ad hoc form at the moment anyway. It's arguably better than any kind of monetary system of dividing up the pie. But, no, not when google are the hand controlling the knife.

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Anonymous Coward

Well that was easy to figure out

but it's nice Google's resident evil overlord put it out there so clearly.

Now if only Eric came clean on how they correlate and store all the other user information... Search queries, Gmail, Android and Chrome IDs, +1 buttons, Analytics, AdSense ads,....

It's incredibly hard to go anywhere on the Web - or even communicate - without Google tracking you in some way.

This detailed information, tied to real identities, must be any intelligence agency's wet dream, let alone marketing. So don't worry, even if Google+ fails I'm sure Google will keep trying to there.

They probably just need to buy one of the credit reporting agencies... hey but we'll get free credit reports right, so it's all fine.

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