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A registered user is a user of a website, program, or other system who has previously registered. Registered users normally provide some sort of credentials (such as a username or e-mail address, and a password) to the system in order to prove their identity: this is known as logging in. Systems intended for use by the general public often allow any user to register simply by selecting a register or sign up function and providing these credentials for the first time. Registered users may be granted privileges beyond those granted to unregistered users.

Rationale[edit]

User registration and login enables a system to personalize itself. For example, a website might display a welcome banner with the user's name and change its appearance or behavior according to preferences indicated by the user. The system may also allow a logged-in user to send and receive messages, and to view and modify personal files or other information.

Criticism[edit]

Privacy concerns[edit]

Registration necessarily provides more personal information to a system than it would otherwise have. Even if the credentials used are otherwise meaningless, the system can distinguish a logged-in user from other users, and might use this property to store a history of users' actions or activity, possibly without their knowledge or consent. While many systems have privacy policies, depending on the nature of the system, a user might not have any way of knowing for certain exactly what information is stored, how it is used, and with whom, if anyone, it is shared. A system could even sell information it has gathered on its users to third parties for advertising or other purposes[citation needed]. The subject of systems' transparency in this regard is one of ongoing debate[citation needed].

User inconvenience[edit]

Registration may be seen as an annoyance or hindrance[1], especially if it is not inherently necessary or important (for example, in the context of a search engine) or if the system repeatedly prompts users to register. A system's registration process might also be time-consuming or require that the user provide information they might be reluctant to, such as a home address or social security number.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Metz, Rachel (20 July 2004). "We don't need no stinkin' login". Wired.com. 


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