An Important Update

Dear Followers Of This Blog ...

If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blogger Does Not Care About Your Telephone Number

Blogger has been using CAPTCHA verification for some time, to identify you as a person, and to make sure that you are not running a computer based script.
  • When you setup a new blog.
  • When you submit a request to have your blog unlocked after being (falsely) classified as spam.
  • When you attempt to publish too many posts in one day.
Unfortunately, spammers eventually figured out how to automate CAPTCHA processing.

Besides the problem of automated CAPTCHA solving, there's the unfortunate detail that solving a CAPTCHA isn't always the best use of one's time, in stressful situations.

Blogger / Google is constantly changing / enhancing security precautions.

Recently, Blogger improved their authentication technique. Besides / instead of using CAPTCHA verification, they now offer us the option of SMS Verification - and for some services, Voice Service based verification.

As a first choice, they will send a short text message to a mobile computer, using SMS - and we can reply from the mobile device, or type a reply code into our online display. Alternately, they will call our voice service - and an automated voice will read us a short text message, which we can then type into our online display.

In both cases, they require that we provide a "phone number", so they can contact us.

The need for phone number verification is not understood, by all blog owners.

Some blog owners are suspicious of this request - that they should provide a phone number to Blogger, just so they can setup a blog (unlock their blog, publish too actively, ...). Certain that Blogger has a nefarious need to collect their phone numbers, they protest yet another invasion of privacy.

Ignoring the unfortunate reality of the limited reliability of SMS / voice service based verification, the privacy invasion accusations are unfounded. Google only wants to use your SMS or voice based "terminal" as a temporary token, to ensure that you are a person - and not yet another hijacked computer, helping another spammer setup a new splog (unlock a locked splog, over publish another splog, ...).

Dude, hit me with a comment!