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Google cares because it allows them to correlate all that juicy information you give them online with all those things you interact with offline. Together, these will combine into more targeted advertising (or "direct-to-individual marketing").

There is a HUGE financial incentive to force people into using their real names.

>There is a HUGE financial incentive to force people into using their real names.

"Financial incentive" is not, or rather, should not be a valid argument, ever. Especially not for infringing on fundamental principles of personal rights and liberties.

We (as in, the privacy/anonymity advocates) have always known that Google/Facebook wants to profit. What we question is why that is any justification for the shit they are pulling. Has capitalism really clouded most people's minds this much?

Unfortunately, "financial incentives" are the basis for any business. Are you arguing that Google and Facebook should be run as charities, or by the State? Or should they simply shut down their social networks and tracking, including Like buttons etc? I'm not criticizing, i'd like to know the alternatives.

I'm saying that "financial incentives" is no valid argument to excuse the stuff that G+ and Facebook do, and so far it is the only. Do we justify all shady, if not borderline criminal business with "financial incentives"?

Besides, there have been non-intrusive ways to implement Like/+1 Buttons. heise.de for example did. You might remember what Facebook did - threaten to sue. With reasons that I cannot describe as anything but bullshit.

The problem is that data-mining for advertising purposes seems to be the only working business model to sustain a general-purpose social network at the moment. Until we come up with something better, we'll have to pony up our behavioural data if we want to enjoy this sort of activity.

Heise.de only "fixed" generalized tracking, not the single-sign-on/unique-ID problem, which is the real root of the issue: as soon as a website, or Disqus, let you log on with your FB/G+ identity, you're back to square one.

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