Pseudonymity will increasingly disappear

Once we accept a new technological reality, we can come to grips with what to do about it.

This post originally appeared in Tim O’Reilly’s Google+ feed.

A recent article in The Atlantic sums up why I thought the whole #nymwars thing was misguided. Remember that face recognition is only going to get better. Pseudonymity is increasingly going to disappear.

In their most recent round of facial recognition studies, researchers at Carnegie Mellon were able to not only match unidentified profile photos from a dating website (where the vast majority of users operate pseudonymously) with positively identified Facebook photos, but also match pedestrians on a North American college campus with their online identities.

My thought is that once we accept the new technological reality, we can start coming to grips with what to do about it.

I don’t know what to do about it. But I do know that acknowledging a problem is always better than pretending it doesn’t exist.

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