Users attempting to sign into Apple’s Game Center have been prompted with a new Terms of Service (ToS) agreement which they must pretend to read and then agree to before they’re allowed to access the service. Turns out this is one of the times when maybe we should have read the fine print, as the latest provisions now allow Game Center to give out players’ real names to other users. The note attached to the update reads:

“IMPORTANT NOTE: We have changed the Game Center terms and conditions to provide you notice that if you send a friend invitation, the full name associated with your Apple ID will be shared with the recipient. If you accept a friend invitation, the full name associated with your Apple ID will be shared with the sender.”

On the surface, this isn’t a big deal. After all, if you’re sending or receiving friend requests you likely already know who it’s coming from, or it might be helpful to have a real name to go along with a username so you know that xXX_Princess Spanx_xXx is your buddy Mike.Still, below the surface this change of policy sends up some privacy red flags, as it shows Apple’s willingness to unilaterally share your identity with others, whether you want them to or not.

What makes the move somewhat unnerving is the fact that it’s not an opt-in option, but rather a requirement in order to use Game Center. Apple has basically decided they want to blow the very concept of online anonymity out of the water, so that now if you want to use one of their most popular services, you must also put yourself out there to the public. It seems like Apple may be heading down the Blizzard Real ID route on a smaller scale, and we all remember how that turned out. If it comes right down to it, will you give up a piece of your privacy to continue using Game Center?

[via TouchArcade]

Posted in: Blog

Tagged with: , ,