Vint Cerf, a senior Google executive, has said that the Internet search giant should not force users to reveal their real names for some services, including its Google+ social network.
Cerf, who is known as a "father of the Internet," acknowledged that the search giant's sweeping push in the past 18 months to institute real-name authentication for Google+ and other services have sparked intense debate within the firm.
But he argued that current name policy, which allows for some users to display pseudonyms, offers adequate "choice" in how users choose to represent themselves.
According to Stuff.co.nz, Cerf said that using real names is useful, but added that it should be forced on people.
he recognised using real names could land social media users under oppressive regimes in "fatal trouble", and Google will not enforce its policy in such instances.
But in many other cases, user authentication should be promoted, he added.
According to the report, the comments from one of the Internet industry's most high-profile thinkers come at a time when the debate over the future of online anonymity is roiling tech circles, with the outcome bearing profound implications for internet use around the world.