Open Letter to Google+ Profile Support

On Sep 19, 2011, at 11:25 AM, Google Profiles Support wrote:

Hi,

Thank you for contacting us with regard to our review of the name you are trying to use in your Google Profile. After review of your appeal, we have determined that the name you want to use violates our Community Standards.

I am curious what community developed the standards?  If there really is a community behind them, where can one engage in dialogue about them and have one’s needs addressed.

Please avoid the use of any unusual characters. For example, numbers,symbols, or obscure punctuation might not be allowed.

(.)’s for last names are permitted for mononym people. I am making this choice.

If you search my name “Kaliya” in Google, I am 1/2 of the links, the other 1/2 are for the Hindu mythical figure that happens to share my name.

It is my name. I claim name sovereignty.

Most users choose to use their first and last names in the common name field in order to avoid any future name violation issues.

I am not “most users”. I am unique individual with my own name.

How can a name be in violation? What is a “name violation issue” anyways? Who says?

I feel violated by this experience because I do not want to use my (soon to be ex-) husband’s (who I’ve been separated from for 3 years) last name, Hamlin, as the headline on MY profile. I am fine listing it in the “other name” field – it is an “other name” to me.

I do not want to use my old last name, Young, last used in 2004 before my professional career began. I am also fine listing this the “other name” field as some who knew me before this date will be able to find me this way. Again, it is not appropriate for the headline on my profile.

I was fine using my professional handle/title “Identity Woman” as my last name for the headline of my profile but this was rejected by your acceptable name algorithms for having a space in it and being words not commonly in last names.

I actually do often list “Identity Woman” as my last name when I attend conferences so it is on my badge prominently  on my badge because my current last name (my ex-husband’s name) isn’t relevant. My Identity Woman professional handle IS relevant to the context, being at a professional conference so I choose to use it as my last name.

I decided when I began using Google+ that I would present and put forward information relevant to and related to my work persona Identity Woman and I am sticking with this persona in this context.  My Gmail address is after all identitywoman@gmail.com.

Last week I went back to what I had before we began this name silliness back and forth a symbol in my last name field on my Google profile for the last 4 years. I have gone ahead and listed other names as “Hamlin, Young, Identity Woman”. You are refusing this option.  This seems like the best compromise position all around. A win-win.

So I am not really sure where to go with this. Is there a human being I can talk to? How do I actually move through this process. Continuing to interact with faceless, first name only people in e-mail and via ever changing rejection notes on my profile is not working for me.

You can review our name guidelines at http://www.google.com/support/+/bin/answer.py?answer=1228271

If you edit your name to comply with our policies in the future, please respond to this email so that we can re-review your profile.

I am not editing my profile. I want to talk with a human being to resolve this or alternatively we can a committee meeting with your team at Google.

This feels like I am being put on trial for my choice of name.

It feels dehumanizing and unjust.  I expect better from a company like Google.

Regards,

-Kaliya

Sincerely,

Bennett

The Google Profiles Support Team

ps. What is your real name? I am curious to know more about you by looking you up on the internet and then maybe will have a better idea about how to persuade you to let my name be.

Getting Started with Identity

Welcome to the Identity Woman Blog

I am an advocate for the rights and dignity of our digital selves.

Top Posts:

How to Join NSTIC, IDESG: A Step-by-step Guide

How to Participate in NSTIC: A Step-by-step Guide

Where I am in the World:

I live on the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay.

ID360  April 9-10, Austin

NSTIC Management Council Retreat  April 22-23 in DC

Internet Identity Workshop - May 6-8, Mountain View, California.

SHARE: Catalyzing the Sharing Economy – May 13-14 in San Francisco

NSTIC 9th Plenary June 17-19 in DC

Cloud Identity Summit – July 19-22 in Monterey, California

Web of Change (tentative) Hollyhock, Cortez Island, BC, Canada

World Economic Forum - YGL Summit + Annual Meeting of New Champions – Sept 7-12 in Taijin, China

Internet Identity Workshop number 19, October 4-6, Mountain View California

Latest Media:

NSTIC in Tech President: In Obama Administration’s People-Powered Digital Security Initiative, There’s Lots of Security, Fewer People 

Article on the BC eID Citizen Engagement Panel in Re:ID. PDF: reid_spring_14-BC

Fast Company Live Chat: On Taking Back Your Data

Fast Company: World Changing Ideas of 2014: You Will Take your Data Back

Posts on NSTIC:

  • Participatory Totalitarianism! - My TEDxBrussels Talk about how if we don’t get this NSTIC stuff right we will end up in a really creepy world.  It references my struggles with Google+ to use the name I chose for my online self.

Posts about Identity:

  •  NymWars – My Personal Saga with Google in the [psuedo] NymWars to use the name I choose on their service – annotation of all my posts.
  • My speech at the Digital Privacy Forum in January 2011 articulating a vision that goes beyond “Do-Not-Track” vs. Business as Usual, creating a new ecosystem where people collect their own data.

Organizations and Events I share leadership in:

  • I am co-leading a new project – more details coming soon.
  • I am on the Management Council of the IDESG – the Identity Ecosystem Steering Group of NSTIC – the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.
  • I co-founded, co-produce and co-facilitate the Internet Identity Workshop #18 May 6-8  in Mountain View, CA. This conference has focused on User-Centric Identity since 2005.
  • I am a steward of Identity Commons which keeps all the organizations and groups working on user-centric identity linked together.
  • I am the volunteer network director at Planetwork.net the civil society organization I have been affiliated with since 2003.
  • I founded She’s Geeky a women’s only unconfernece for those in Technology and STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math)
  • I co-founded Digital Death Day and work with that community to continue to host events on the issue. You can see a video of me talking at Privacy Identity and Innovation about this. The next conference is in London on October 6th.
  • I own a business Unconference.net that designs and facilitations participant driven events for a range of clients (IIW, She’s Geeky and Digital Death Day are all Unconferences).

Potential Future: Google-Zon

With the nymwars unfolding (Nym = Pseudonym , Anonymous and other varities on this theme) this video of the Google-Zon story in the year 2014 seems more prescient then ever.

Please watch the video on the Original Site the way it was done is amazing. 

EPIC in this video stands for the Electronic Personalized Information Construct

The computer writes a new story for every user (sound like the Filter Bubble?) everyone contributes and in exchange gets a cut of the revenue…

We stand for the exact oposite vision at the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium where people have control over their own data and manage the rights to access it and shape things.

Starting on the OASIS IDtrust member steering committee

I started a new “job” last week, serving on the OASIS Identity and Trusted Infrastructure (IDtrust) Member Section, member steering committee.  I was elected to a 2 year term on this 5 member board.  This was my candidate statement and remains as my profile. On my first call as a member of the committee I was part of approving 8K of money including sponsoring the upcoming Interent Identity Workshop.

I shared with my fellow board members

in my introductory call that I was keen to link this work with other work that is related and ongoing at other standards efforts like the W3C where I have been participating in the Federated Social Web work.  There is also independent efforts like OpenID and OAuth happening within IETF.  One of our next tasks at Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium is to outline the core standards relevant to personal data.  We are not going to invent anything new – rather help what is be found and adopted and adapted.

Why Does participation in an International Standards body matter?

If “code is law,” then standards are like the Senate.  - Bruce Sterling, commenting on the April 2011 Augmented Reality Standards gathering

[Read more...]

Gender Matters in CS & Tech & The World

I don’t need to say much. This graphic from the New York Times explains it simply  Computer Science and Engineering are getting worse for women and have been for 10 years. These industries are where law and medicine were in the 50′s and 60′s.  I share this fact with people from other industries and they look at me funny and say “really” – YES really. They have believed the myth that technology is a a meritocracy and really progressive.

[Read more...]