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How not to verify someone's identity

verify identity

Twice now I've tried logging into Google using an address that I haven't used at Google in a very long time. As in years. I really can't remember the last time I logged into the account, I created the account when Google groups first started. I may have used it for a year or two, but definitely stopped using it well before Microsoft closed their NNTP groups – I think in 2009? Or was it 2010?

In any event, it was long before Google started asking for cell phone numbers for account recovery and sending text messages to verify identity. (Even if they had a cell phone number for me, it would be an old number…)

I only need to log into the account now to change a setting so Google group owners can't automatically subscribe my address to their lists.

So Google wants to verify my identity… that is all well and good, highly secure, right? Except they ask ME to enter a phone number. Seriously. Exactly how does that verify MY identity? All it does is verify that the person who entered the phone number had my password and entered a working phone number.

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