Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Iphone Privacy Games Apple

Apple's Game Center Shares Your Real Name 182

Posted by Soulskill
from the slow-erosion-of-anonymity dept.
dotarray writes "Apple's Game Center has just made itself a few enemies through a simple change to their Terms of Service. Now, whenever you send a friend invitation, your real name will be attached as well as your Apple ID." Apparently they didn't learn from the poor reaction to Blizzard's similar idea.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Apple's Game Center Shares Your Real Name

Comments Filter:
  • First Impression (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @03:27AM (#34401660)
    First thought which came to my mind:

    1. Apple has a game center?
    2. This will have 0 negative reaction whatsoever. This is Apple people. If apple forced you to sign your name in blood to buy an iPhone, you would.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wait, you didn't?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TheLink (130905)
      First thought that came to my mind:

      Real Name? You're just writing it wrong...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by spagetti_code (773137)
      Have you actually *read* the iPhone contract? I'm surprised they didn't require blood.

      When I got my iPhone, I asked to read the contract.
      The store workers had never had anyone ask, so they didn't know where it was.
      Took them a long time to find a copy.
      It was pretty nasty, but from memory (they wouldn't let me keep their
      only copy now that they knew where it was) the worst section was something of the form:

      "if we suspect you may have altered your phone, you agree to let us cancel
      your phone service
      • by TheLink (130905)
        So did you keep the phone and agree to the contract?
      • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @04:14AM (#34401916)

        I'm surprised they didn't require blood.

        Apple needs livers! Soylent iPhones are made of human livers!

        I finally bought my girlfriend an iPhone 4, because I could buy it officially unlocked. It did annoy me that I had to install iTunes to get it activated, though.

        On the positive side it is a very impressive chunk of technology, and it is fun to play with. Both of us are left handed, and we have not experienced any problems with dropped calls, which are apparently more common with left handers.

        Although I am not an Apple fanboy, I can understand how the Apple Inquisition's three main weapons, are: fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Jobs . . . their *four*...no... *Amongst* their weapons . . .

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          Although I am not an Apple fanboy, I can understand how the Apple Inquisition's three main weapons, are: fear, surprise and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Jobs . . . their *four*...no... *Amongst* their weapons . . .

          Nobody expects the Apple Inquisition!

        • by careysub (976506)

          ...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Jobs . . .

          You got to give it the Jobs. Back in the 80s everyone was second-guessing him. How much of Apple's success was due to Jobs alone? Was really a good leader? A good manager? Did he just get lucky? Jobs brought in another guy as CEO himself, and then of course the board kicked him out.

          Then they brought him back. A nifty natural experiment.

          The contrast between Apple's performance during both"Jobs" eras and the "No Jobs" era is astonishing.

      • Re:First Impression (Score:4, Interesting)

        by houghi (78078) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @04:16AM (#34401930)

        This would be great in Belgium. If you were not allowed to take (a copy of) the contract with you it would pretty much mean you do not have a contract, regardless of wehther you signed some other paper where it says that you read it.

        Here you would need to write at least "written and approved" and sign. Also the other party (sales rep) would need to sign and each of you must have a copy.

        In reality it would mean that the customers would not have a contract.

        And even then cancellation would mean then end of payment, regardless of what the contract says as that will be against the law (and could make part or whole of the contract void).

        • by AEton (654737)

          And if the contract is in Dutch but you're not in Flanders, it's null and void, right? :)

        • And even then cancellation would mean then end of payment, regardless of what the contract says

          If my service was canceled and my hardware was taken away from me, I sure as hell wouldn't keep paying the bill.

          Gotta make sure it's less than $2000 though. A judge would throw that shit right out. But if Jammie Thomas is any indication, a jury would be stupid enough to hand back a verdict saying you actually owe them the money.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by gshegosh (1587463)
        And you've bought the phone anyway. What do you think is going to stop them from such practices? Government? Or declining sales?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by khchung (462899)

        Welcome to the broken America mobile market. In places where the market actually has competition, eg, Asia , we can buy phones without contract and then use whichever carrier we like, and switch carrier whenever we like. If you enter into a contact with the carrier, you can do so without telling them what's model is your phone (none of their business anyway), and your can change/jb your phone without affecting the contract.

      • by dimeglio (456244)

        Those terms and conditions are meaningless if they attempt to override any of your legal rights. At least that's how it works in our country. Sure they can cancel but they can't force you to pay for a service you no longer have.

        • by delinear (991444)

          Those terms and conditions are meaningless if they attempt to override any of your legal rights. At least that's how it works in our country. Sure they can cancel but they can't force you to pay for a service you no longer have.

          We're talking about the US, where I'm given to understand the cust^H^H^Honsumer pretty much has no rights.

      • They just stick that stuff in there. It's probably not enforceable.

        The real issue is the spaghetti approach to contracts that our current legal system seems to create a preference for: just throw any onerous terms in and see if anything sticks, maybe you'll slip something through the courts.

        I think the solution would be to get rid of severability. If you want contract terms to be separable, they should be in separate contracts.

      • You do not that everything in a contract is not legally binding, even if you sign it right? This is why there is a clause to the effect that if any part of the contract is found to be invalid, the remaining parts are still binding. A lot gets put in there just so they can convince you that you don't have a leg to stand on, in hopes that the client doesn't know any better, as is quite often the case. I rather doubt that a court would order you to keep paying on the contract, or give up the phone for that m
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nosferatu1001 (264446)

        My suspiciion is that this would be in the US?

        In the UK such a term would fall foul of UCTA as well as general Sales of Goods, and would be unenforceable.

      • That's interesting (because admittedly, I didn't read the contract back when I activated my iPhone). But would clauses like the one you mention keep me from signing up for service with the phone? Honestly, no... probably not. Why? Because any time a company puts unreasonable demands/statements in a contract, they're subject to legal challenge and typically, never really acted upon anyway.

        For example, a long time ago, I purchased a copy of the DeLorme "Street Atlas USA" software bundled with one of their

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Have you actually *read* the iPhone contract? I'm surprised they didn't require blood.

        You mean the AT&T contract, right? Hell, that contract is probably the same across every phone you buy on contract, and you'll find similar clauses everywhere else.

        The only contract I found when I had an iPhone4 was the EULA. And nothing about having to pay out the rest of my term (non-contract).

      • by Americano (920576)

        Really - you weren't provided with a copy of your service contract? The thing you had to sign in order to activate service? The contract you sign with AT&T, not Apple? And the "store workers" couldn't find a copy of the thing you needed to sign to activate service?

        And you can't remember much about the contract, except that there's a part in there that was "awful, just awful," and you paraphrase it from memory, rather than, you know, citing relevant portions of the contract which is posted online [att.com] for

    • I'm sure it'll have similar reaction to Facebook using real names. A few privcy nuts on Slashdot will get their knickers in a twist. Meanwhile, real people will prefer it - they know their friends real names far better than their usernames.

    • by grumpyman (849537)
      This is Apple people. If apple forced you to sign your name in blood to buy an iPhone, you would.

      The question is why?

    • by rwven (663186)

      I don't think it has anything to do with "Apple." People want the service, so they're willing to pay the price in privacy. You'll notice that with all the whining, blizzard's WoW is still just as popular as ever. More-so with all the changes that come down the pipe.

  • Spartacus! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Random Data (538955) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @03:34AM (#34401704)
    As far as Apple is aware, I'm Steve Jobs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Don't worry, the Apple billing system knows you're not the real Steve Jobs, he's already registered under the name God...
      • by Adambomb (118938) *

        Don't worry, the Apple billing system knows you're not the real Steve Jobs, he's already registered under the name God...

        God wouldn't be up this late...

  • by 91degrees (207121)
    Chances are they know your real name.

    Blizzard users objected to needing to use their names on the forums.
    • by MarkGriz (520778)

      No kidding. I don't quite see how this is earth shattering news.

      ZOMG! Now my friends will know my REAL name

    • Well, yes, if you use the offline meaning of friend, circa 1990 or earlier. In the meantime, "social networks" and online games devalued it to meaning basically "one of the 2000 people on a list of names of people not only I don't know personally, but I wouldn't even remember their name without that list" (check out the Dunbar number for humans: it's not 2000) or just "random stranger I met in some online game, who was healing well and I might look up in the next raid if our secondary healer is late again."

    • by seebs (15766)

      "Chances are" is a shitty way to design policy.

      If you want to marry someone, "chances are" that person is of the opposite sex.
      If you want to marry someone, "chances are" that person has about the same skin color you do.
      If you have a job, "chances are" that you are physically present in an office with your coworkers every working day.

      In the real world, people like to have "friends" in online games who may not be people they know in real life, or whose real names they know.

  • by Achoi77 (669484) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @03:56AM (#34401838)

    I figured Apple's intention is to thwart spammers; if you were able to recognize the real name of your buddy you were more likely accept the invitation rather than someone with a username like "THISISNOTVIAGRASPAM." Playing the whole social angle.

    What Blizzard was intending was different. They wanted to put paper trail on all users on a publicly viewable form, in the interest of minimizing trolls and thus improving the quality of posts on their forums - to 'shame' the trolls from posting mindless drivel. Yeah, that didn't work out too well.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Haedrian (1676506)
      Since the game center works on their iProducts only, any spammer who is going to buy a ton of those in order to spam other players deserves a medal for stupidity.

      I'm pretty sure you can easily lock the phone of a spammer (or at least stop him making accounts) without needing to spread names around.
    • by Barny (103770)

      But all my friends know me as CHEAPMEDS$$$NOPRESCRIPTIONNEEDED, if it uses my real name half of them won't recognise it.

      • You might be kidding, but it is actually true for me. I have a few fairly good friends whose real names will at best make me go "who?" because I never even heard their real name, let alone connect it with the person. Likewise, they have no idea what my real name would be. And there is effectively no reason for it.

        A name is an identification string, preferably only usable within context. Just as global variables are bad because they can interfere with local requirements, so are globally known names bad becau

    • Bullshit, sorry (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @05:08AM (#34402164) Journal

      Actually, BS. While the trolls were the first excuse Blizzard thought of, they also gave interviews in which they explicitly stated that they want to get more users out of it. They were hoping you'd basically advertise their cash cow for them, either directly or via the human tendency for mindless conformism. Think, "ooh, Jack and Jill from work and 10 of their facebook 'friends' are playing WoW, let's join them."

      Heck, they even tried to spin it as a positive thing that they want your "friends of friends" (read, and anyone from the list of 2000 names someone can't even remember without the list, of someone you added just because there was no other global friend option) to keep messaging you they want you to return and tank for their preciousss epics. That's their #1 way to retain players long past the point where they've seen all quests and got bored with the repetitive raid grind. There must be a million people just in Blizzard's player base who are there just because of some delusion that if they quit a game they got bored with, or even if they skip one raid, they'll be somehow failing their guild and their "friends" who need them. Blizard just wanted to take that to the next level: let those people know who you are, where you are and what are they doing, and basically just help create more peer pressure to keep paying.

      Heck, for their own BattleNet the above _still_ is listed as an advantage. That you can see if someone is playing Diablo or StarCraft instead of coming help get your epics, and you can message them to come back.

      Basically I doubt that trolls were even a factor there, except as a more palatable excuse.

      And in that aspect, I don't think Apple's move is any different. They too hope to use people's names to get more business, and probably give just as little about your privacy if it helps make a quick buck.

      And frankly, how is it different from spam anyway? Anyone who knows me well enough to be called a friend, already knows how to contact me and ask me if I want to join in anything. Like, you know, send an email first, or give a call, or even an SMS, or whatever. If an invitation comes out of the blue actually needs something -- name or otherwise -- to convince me it's not random spam, then it _is_ spam. The only difference is that instead of being a batch run, it gives idiots a button to spam all their contacts for Apple's benefit.

      And really, how's plastering someone's name on it going to help anyway? If I see my buddy's John Doe' name on an unsolicited email trying to sell me Viagra or wanting me to open a "taxes.xls.exe" file, I will think "Joe Job", not "ooh, it must be genuine". Why would I think if it's an other kind unsolicited ad, and John never bothered telling me about it before, it's any better? And yes, there will be smacktards who fall for it anyway, but then you could give most of those an email from "login.scam@i-pwn-u.ru" and they'd follow it anyway.

      • Think, "ooh, Jack and Jill from work and 10 of their facebook 'friends' are playing WoW, let's join them."

        And the problem with that is what, exactly? Isn't that kind of the entire point of social media?

        • by Moraelin (679338)

          Except nobody said that _that_ is the problem.

          • You just wrote 7 paragraphs ripping Blizzard's "cash cow" and the "smacktards'" "mindless conformity" and how Blizzard is putting a "positive spin" or creating "peer pressure to keep paying" and how Apple is the same, using "people's names to get more business" and not caring about "your privacy if it helps makes a quick buck."

            Sounds like you think that's the problem to me. What else could the problem be, given you've posted no alternative?

    • by ukyoCE (106879)

      I'm not sure if it's spammers exactly, but Apple probably wanted people to see something to indicate who was adding them besides an email address.

      WOW is an MMO where you spend a lot of time with people you only know from the internet. Real names don't even mean anything there between most friends. "Tom? Who the crap is that? Oh, you mean elwinlybronzebottom?"

      Gamescenter, from what I can tell, is for you to play Scrabble with people you're already friends with. Does it even support playing with random pl

    • by seebs (15766)

      You cannot seriously expect me to believe that they thought it would "minimize trolls".

      They've been lying about this stuff from Day 1. And yes, I mean "lying" -- they have said things which they can't possibly have believed to be true, because they've said things which were mutually exclusive.

      Note that they did, in fact, go live with new forums on which your real name is displayed, in theory only to you -- but it's sent in unencrypted http, so...

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @04:03AM (#34401862)
    This is serious. I mean everyone knows that using the Apple game centre is tantamount to an admission of being gay.
  • by Renderer of Evil (604742) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @04:08AM (#34401882) Homepage

    Apple is great at many things. They're just excellent in their core competencies. No debate about it.

    But they absolutely suck at social media on a grand scale. Hard to believe how tone-deaf they are when it comes to stuff like Ping and Gamecenter. Does it come from the leadership? Maybe. The company is run by old guys in their 40's and up. Maybe they just don't get it.

    Perhaps they can hire back Guy Kawasaki to spearhead their social media wing. He saved Apple's bacon once. Perhaps he'll do it again if they asked him nicely.

    • by dzfoo (772245) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @05:49AM (#34402354)

      I think you do not understand Apple's approach to "social media". There is a large part of the population who is not interested in the accretion of unknown and anonymous "friends", and thus shy away from vastly over-abused services like Facebook. Apple is attempting to fill that gap by offering a "social media" experience that is truly social, and revolves around people's real friends and family.

      Their intention was never to compete with Facebook or the like, but to offer their users a way to participate in music sharing and games with their friends without having to go out into the wilderness.

                -dZ.

    • by capmilk (604826)
      You do realise Guy Kawaski also isn't as young as he used to be? Though he probably aged a lot slower than the management guys...
    • The company is run by old guys in their 40's and up. Maybe they just don't get it.

      On the contrary, I think they see millions of young people who are willing to hand over much more than their real names to Facebook and so are trying to extend that concept to their own products.

    • Hey, hey...easy with the "40 and up" zingers! I'll be 41 in a couple of weeks and you are right. I really don't get it (social media). I do have a facebook account that I use to post random musing and pics of my children, but other than that, we "old" guys are mostly too busy with real life.

  • The difference between this and Blizzard's RealID is that RealID is a service on tp of the normal friends system in WoW - you can friend someone without giving your name, you just don't get as much info (see what char/server they're on at any time etc). Blizzard marketed it as something to use with people you actually know, not that Death Knight you thought was hot that one evening in Gundrak". That to me made it a lot less objectionable since there was no obligation to use it with all my friends. Apple o
    • Nope, not really (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338)

      Blizzard too wanted to do just that. They backed down on RealID only because of the massive negative reaction -- and the cynics would say probably temporarily, until they manage to find some better excuse.

      The original idea for RealID was precisely that it will be on for everyone. Including, yes, that Death Knight who you think has teh hots for you because she boosted you once in the Deadmines, and that healer who must be all over your junk 'cause she was healing you more, and that hunter who probably wants

    • No, the difference between Blizzard and Apple is that my kids' WoW account gets hacked at least once a month. Apple stuff is important enough to hack into (my mobile me account is super boring, and I have no idea what Ping is supposed to be..maybe you can buy songs with my credit card if you hack me?).

    • by seebs (15766)

      That's a very marginal defense of Real ID, since the pirmary purpose of a "friends" system would be to let you keep in touch across multiple alts.

  • No problem (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @05:25AM (#34402238) Homepage

    My apple ID is some random rubbish and I can just make up something stupid for my real name! Now no-one will know who I really am!

    • by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @05:31AM (#34402262) Homepage

      Shit, I forgot to check "Post Anonymously" :(

    • ...until Apple finds it fishy that your credit card belongs to someone different than the name in your "official" name and locks your account until you prove that you are the person whose name you used.

      Good luck, sir.

      • by delinear (991444)
        He probably only has to prove that he's the person named on the credit card. I'm sure they don't really care if one person wants to pay on behalf of another person, so long as they get the agreement of the person with the money. Aside from verifying the payer is who he says, I'm not sure they'd be too bothered about proving who the beneficiary is, unless there is some condition of the service that says these must be the same person (I know I've paid for things on behalf of family and friends using my CC bef
  • by cbope (130292) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @06:34AM (#34402560)

    I believe the Blizzard reaction was justified because RealID was going to be used in their forums. You know... where everyone in the world with a Blizzard forum account will be able to see it. Dumb idea.

    This on the other hand, is very different. I didn't RTFA, but from the information in the news post, only friends to whom you send invitations will be sent your real name.

    Entertain me here, but I would guess that if you are sending an invitation to someone specifically, you already know them and they probably know your real name anyway. If you are the sort of person who sends invites to people you don't know, then you deserve what you get if unknown_person_a gets your real name along with the invitation and does something bad with it. That's just being Darwin stupid.

    At least on the surface, this is FAR different than Blizzard's RealID fiasco.

    • by N0Man74 (1620447) on Wednesday December 01, 2010 @09:55AM (#34404064)

      Entertain me here, but I would guess that if you are sending an invitation to someone specifically, you already know them and they probably know your real name anyway. If you are the sort of person who sends invites to people you don't know, then you deserve what you get if unknown_person_a gets your real name along with the invitation and does something bad with it. That's just being Darwin stupid.

      There are many people that I only know by online persona or in games, that sometimes I have moved on to playing other games with. Just because I game with someone online doesn't mean they know my real name, or that I want them to. This is true whether or not I use forums.

  • I invite friends, and my friends know my name. I don't see the problem at all.

    Actually, when I tried Game Center some time ago, the fact that I did not know who was "Weird Username Here" who accepted my invitation was kind of awkward. As much as usernames are cool, I also want to know which username is associated to which friend.

    This change sounds like a improvement to me.

  • Actually, Blizzard's "similar" idea that got the bad reaction was to use real names on forums, not on in-game friend-lists and invites. Blizzards system does show me real-life names on friend-lists and invites to friend-lists, and my friends and I are as a rule not upset about it. They're only copying what Blizzard has succesfully implemented here.

    • by seebs (15766)

      The people who are upset about it left. I'm one of them. One of my best friends, with whom I used to play WoW, is a guy whose legal name is "Jessica". We do not want to use real names, but we wanted to be able to be friends across alts/factions/etc.

      So we went to City of Heroes, which uses a global handle instead of real names, and we're happy.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

Working...