More on that really bad experiment by Blizzard

Blizzard, makers of the games Starcraft and World of Warcraft, is about to change their forum policies and require the display of real names, basically creating a massive privacy leak if you buy a silly game and go online to get some tech support. There’s an excellent summary of why this was a really bad idea here, and apparently Blizzard has an inkling of possible problems — they’re waffling about whether to publish employee names under their new terms. If it’s not a problem for users, why should employees get an exemption?

Also, I’ve been sent a few links to sites where people are demonstrating what can be done with names and a little information: they’re digging up all kinds of amazing info about Blizzard employees. Photos, family pictures, home addresses, financial statements, shoe sizes, wedding registries, children’s school addresses, that sort of thing. I’m not going to post those links here! Personally, I’ve been very casual about my privacy, but we have to respect people’s decision to avoid public entanglements of this sort—and buying a garish box at Electronics Boutique for some casual entertainment should not be a tacit agreement to allow stalkers to track you down.