As the plot is won't to do, it has THICKENED!
I just finished reading this article from search engine watch
. The author of this article compares the Google+ real identity to the South Korean effort with similar goals. The important thing here, is she really focuses on the consequences of something describing itself as an "Identity Service" but identified as a social network by it's users. Another important nugget that I wasn't aware of previously is the U.S. government's National Strategy For Trusted Identities In Cyberspace
. The article goes on to to describe this initiative as government supported, but it is a private sector project developed to create an identity service outlined here
An interesting thing pointed out here is the thing that's always pointed out. While privacy settings will prevent your information from getting out to other users, it will not prevent it from being collected and stored by these private companies, nor the government. Sounds on the line of a conspiracy theory, but it is worth knowing what you are buying into in these circumstances. I feel that all of this may serve to make people more responsible in their participation online. We are not free to behave however we see fit, because our actions are being recorded and serving somewhat fuzzy purposes behind the scenes.
This isn't full on conspiracy theory, though it may sound this way, this is more of an awareness issue. You are not private online. Nor should you think so.