Would You Claim Your Baby’s Digital Footprint?
The first clue about the names of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s twins came in the form of an unusual document: A trademark application for the newborns’ names. Less than two weeks after giving birth, the couple filed the application to use the names Rumi and Sir on, as People put it, “everything from fragrances and cosmetics to baby gear, tote bags and water bottles.”
While few non-celebrity parents are likely to follow suit, the Carters’ trademark application does raise an interesting question. In a world where over 350,000 babies are born every day, does it make sense for parents to claim the territory tied to their newborns’ names?
We’re thinking here, of digital territory: domain names, email addresses, social media handles and so forth. Of course, in the case of common names — your James Smiths and Kate Johnsons — that ship likely sailed long ago. But if you have an uncommon last name or pick a relatively rare first name, chances are you’d be able to sign up for all the accounts you want in your newborn’s name. But should you? Would you? Did you?
The question here is not whether you’d have any use for these accounts right away. But when your child was old enough to use them, they might appreciate being able to use their actual name rather than firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the other hand, some might find this sort of claim-staking either creepy or unnecessary. And there’s also a strong chance that by the time your child comes of age, the sorts of accounts available now could be totally defunct.