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2011-07-25 - 10:02:00 - by AlisonW - Topic: Open: Open Knowledge | Privacy |

I've been thinking a lot about why Google seem so concerned about having "real" names; what difference it could actually make to them whether, for example, someone in Hong Kong uses their chinese-script name or the romanised name they are commonly known by; why 'Skud' is not acceptable but the name nobody actually uses for her is desired so much that they prefer to have her absent entirely. What is the business case for this?

And the only answer I've come up with so far has been around the equivalent functionality elsewhere: either a Census or the Phone Book and the latter would clearly have the capability to create an income stream.

If you have a list of guaranteed "real names", and a contact method for each one of them – with the ability to uniquely target advertising – then you have a massive money-spinner.

Google started as a search engine service; now it wants to have the world as its source data.



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