Google Abandons Anonymous Accounts With New Signup Form

This is how you leverage a monopoly in one domain (search) to force yourself into other markets while strip-mining users’ privacy expectations. I’m so glad that Google is a ‘do no evil’ kind of company and that they value users’ privacy.

The revamped Google account creation page adds some additional fields to the sign up form, including name and gender which are both necessary for creating a Google+ account. There’s also a new agreement — turned on by default — granting Google permission to “use my account information to personalize +1s on content and ads on non-Google websites.”

I would note that Facebook didn’t become successful by requiring people to sign up; it made the service cool and prestigious to drive early adoption. They also weren’t pushing people from one service into another, separate and unrelated, one. I can’t wait to see what the Europeans do to Google: it’s going to make the hell the Microsoft went through look like a brief, and sunny, walk in the anti-trust regulatory park.

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