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...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Account Recovery, Authentication, Contact, Privacy, And URL Availability Are All Related

Every day, we get various impassioned pleas from blog owners (active, former, and would be), in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, requesting assistance.
How do I get access to my blog, that I published 10 years ago?
and
How do I keep my blog from being visible in Google?
and
How do I contact the owner of a blog that was published 10 years ago (and never updated)?
All of these are valid concerns - and answering one question sometimes involves referring to various other concerns.

Blogger Support, some time ago, confirmed our right to privacy, as blog owners.
Our policies aren't pro-stalker, they are pro-respecting the privacy of user information. We simply can not release information without due process.

Effective use of the Internet requires some amount of ownership privacy.
The concept of Internet privacy in general, and blog owner privacy specifically, has legendarily been part of some major world political events. If we as blog owners are going to retain our rights to privacy as blog owners, we have to be aware of the limitations, and the results.

Not all blog owners are aware of the complex natures of Blogger authentication. We have two long used authentication options - account name / password (primary), and backup email access (secondary).

Some blog owners refuse to remember their account name and password, routinely.
Some owners routinely ignore the primary option, and use the secondary, regularly. When their email address changes because they change employer, graduate from college, or change ISP, we see the plaintive cry from former owners
I need Blogger to send the recovery email to my new address!
or
I can't use my previous email account!

To prevent the latter issue, Blogger / Google recently introduced a tertiary authentication option - SMS / Voice Recovery. This allows us to use a text message (SMS transmitted), or a voice message ("home" phone transmitted), to the "cell phone" or "home phone" of our choice. This approach, not universally popular, causes another privacy concern.
  • It requires advance action. People currently unable to use the primary or secondary authentication options are not going to find a solution here.
  • It requires the blog owner to register a "cell phone" or "home phone" number. People with privacy concerns don't appreciate this.
    I'm not giving Google my phone number!
    as if Google intends to add us to another phone spam database.

There is no Blogger required minimum publishing level.
Another privacy issue involves people who think that blog ownership involves some minimal publishing activity, and who require use of the Blog URL to match their blog subject and title.
I need contact to the owner of blog xxxxxxx!
Here, the would be blog owner ignores the owner's right to privacy, in requiring contact information.

Some people request that Blogger monitor posting level, and contact inactive blog owners.
Can Blogger just email owners of blogs with no posts for a year, and ask them to confirm their intention to continue? Those who don't respond can have their blogs taken away, so somebody else can make better use of the URL.
These would be owners seem to think that all Blogger accounts are based on active and valid email addresses, and that all URLs should be universally monitored.

Blogger can't satisfy everybody - you may have to pick an available URL!
The bottom line here is that there are several limitations, that we may have to learn to live with.Compromise, and move forward. Remember, blog content is the value, in your Internet presence. Don't require that Blogger compromise security, to give you improper access to your blog.

Dude, hit me with a comment!