I don't have my full name filled out on any site (including Stack Overflow which is my oldest site):

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However, when I create an account on a new site (I've just done it on Money) my full name is filled out:

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The rest of the profile information is copied from my Stack Overflow profile (as expected), but where on earth is getting my full name from?

A couple of things that may (or may not) be relevant:

  1. Stack Overflow has the Developer Story/CV attached so it could be pulling the name from there. I could temporarily change my name there and repeat the process to check.
  2. I'm a moderator on Stack Overflow, though I don't see why that should affect this at all.
  • I tried to reproduce this, but it didn't happen for me – perhaps because my oldest site is Signal Processing, not Stack Overflow? I blanked out my 'full name' field on Signal Processing and signed up for Esperanto, and it was blank on Esperanto as expected. (It is filled in on every other site.)
    – user215040
    Dec 7 '16 at 14:06
  • If you're using Google OpenID then probably SE is grabbing the details from there (i.e. Google+) Dec 7 '16 at 14:10
  • @ShadowWizard - ah. I hadn't considered that. However, given that the process says that it's copying the information from my oldest profile - which doesn't contain this information - I don't think it should.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Dec 7 '16 at 14:12
  • 1
    @ChrisF they probably pull the info first time when user creates an account (which is indeed useful), and the check is only something like "if the real name field is blank, try taking it from the OpenID provider", i.e. they didn't take into account those who blank it out on purpose. Dec 7 '16 at 14:13
  • I can confirm that this happened at least once to me when I signed up on Aviation last year. There is a bug report from me in ZenDesk.
    – rene
    Dec 7 '16 at 14:32

As Shadow Wizard surmised, we pull account information from the credentials whenever you create a new account on the network. Arguably, we shouldn't do that if we already know you on the network. (On the other hand, maybe you changed your name since the last time you created an account? It seems polite for us to keep up with that sort of thing if we can.)

Unfortunately, the account management code is notoriously finicky, so it might not be easy to fix without breaking something else (up to and including the person assigned to make the change). On SO, as you guessed, the presence of Jobs stuff complicates things. It would be handy to grab your full name to populate your CV even if it's blank on some other site.

There is a dev willing to look at it soonish, but I can't promise this behaviour will be changed.

  • The email address it copies is the one associated with my Stack Overflow account, not the one on my GMail/Facebook account which is presumably where it's picking the name up from. So that's already an inconsistency.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Dec 8 '16 at 11:16

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