July 9, 2010
It was an interesting week on the issue of privacy concerns on the Internet. Power-hitter Blizzard Entertainment announced that their online forums, battle.net, would make a switch so that all of the user names on the forums would use the RealID system, meaning that your real name would display as your user name instead. As in, your real life name. RealID was originally supposed to be a cross-platform communications tool between Blizzard’s online games in which friends could chat with each other, with the catch that using it would make you opt in to show your real name to people you were friends with. The keyword here is “optional.” When Blizzard announced it was going to be mandatory on the forums, there was an uproar.