Google+ to 'improve' sign-up process

Google+ privay policies are attracting undue attention from the Information Commissioners Office in the UK
Google+ privay policies are attracting undue attention from the Information Commissioners Office in the UK

Google has said that it is 'making a number of improvements' in response to public outcry that its fledgling Google+ social network allows only real names and not sobriquets, nicknames or online handles.

Bradley Horowitz, Google's VP of Product, has posted some further details in an attempt to explain Google's position on anonymous users and 'other' names other than your real name (such as nicknames, your maiden name, and so on).

Horowitz wrote, "We've noticed that many violations of the Google+ common name policy were in fact well-intentioned and inadvertent and for these users our process can be frustrating and disappointing."

Private versus Public

"So we're currently making a number of improvements to this process - specifically regarding how we notify these users that they're not in compliance with Google+ policies and how we communicate the remedies available to them," he went on.

The Google exec added – perhaps most importantly – "we've noticed that some people are using their profile name to show-off nicknames, maiden names and personal descriptions.

"While the profile name doesn't accommodate this, we want to support your friends finding you by these alternate names and give you a prominent way of displaying this info in Google+."

Nicknames not accepted

Google's attempt to exclude anonymous users or pseudonyms on Google+ has also attracted the attention of the UK's Information Commissioners Office (ICO), with the data rights group interested in knowing more about the latest changes in Google's Profile policy.

ICO staff are now looking into the way in which Google deals with its Google Profile policies on identities on the new Google+ network, as well as other Google apps and services, though it should be stressed that no official ICO investigation has to date been announced.

Elsewhere, there are claims of a slowdown in traffic on Google+ from analytics firm Experian Hitwise, with a new report that total Google+ visits fell by three percent over the week of July 23.

TechRadar has contacted Google for further comment and clarification on this latest report.

Still confused about Google+? Our handy video review should get you hanging out and adding to circles like a pro.

Via Slashgear and

Adam Hartley