With a Little Luck, Social Networks Will Soon Allow Pseudonyms

It happened very quickly: The hunter, Facebook, has now become the hunted. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is being forced to make a move — because its competitor, Google+, is applying pressure with its platform for friends on the Internet. Their users should be able to decide for themselves with whom they share their information and with whom they do not.

Facebook will now, first of all, improve the visibility of already-existing functions. In fact, the Internet site already has — in a well hidden way — everything that Google+ offers to protect information and pictures.

Up to now, however, the Zuckerberg group had no interest in letting the public at large know about these possible settings. The mantra of the firm reads: Facebook is there to share information with others. The competition from Google+ is now just making corrections in its self-image necessary.

Both firms are no friends of data protection. It contradicts their business interests to keep information of the users under wraps. But now, where Google has taken the first step to more security with Google+, Facebook must and will follow suit. With a little luck, Google will then take the next step and eliminate the existing constraint of Facebook and Google to have to provide a real name if one wants to be a member. Providers must permit the use of pseudonyms.

Does this herald a race of both Internet giants for the best data privacy for users? Perhaps, because they can only differentiate themselves in this area. In spite of this, Facebook and Co. still have a long way ahead of them; however, the dream of greater data privacy has become a little more real.