North West: Kim and Kanye chose a great baby name for the digital age

Kim and Kanye have allegedly named their daughter North West. Once the Internet broke news of the Kim Kardashian and Kanye West baby name the typical celebrity baby name judging exploded online. As a data privacy specialist I applaud Kim and Kanye’s baby name choice. North West is a not a bad baby name in the digital age.

North West is a unique name

Kim and Kanye
Photo credit: myalexis / / CC BY

Although there will probably be some fans who copycat, North West is likely to remain a rather unique name. In the digital world it’s important to be unique lest you get buried beneath search results for your doppelnamers, or worse you get mistaken for someone else with the same name who may have committed a crime or otherwise has been behaving badly. (Why do you think I keep that Z in my byline?)

Of course Kim and Kanye’s kid is less likely to be mistaken for someone else because of her celebrity parents, but uniqueness is still a good baby name consideration in the digital age.

North West is a common search term

North WestUniqueness, however, can erode your privacy. If your name is unique every mention of you do is easily searchable. Online privacy is difficult for people whose names come up easily in Google. This is why North West is a brilliant name from a privacy perspective.

When I Googled North West this morning the top results are news items about Kim and Kanye’s baby girl, but then I got

  • The Northwest Herald
  • The Wikipedia entry for the ordinal direction northwest
  • The Wikipedia entry for community areas in Chicago
  • The Wikipedia entry for North West England
  • Northwestern University

You get the idea. Once the initial news flurry about Kim and Kanye’s baby name choice subsides The Northwest Herald is likely to regain top billing.

North West is a great name for online privacy. Unless you know more about Kim and Kanye’s girl North West, she’ll be difficult to search for online. In her early years you can probably include “Kanye West” or “Kim Kardashian” in the search to improve your results, but as she grows to independence and adulthood she’ll become harder to find.

Congratulations on your baby girl, Kim and Kanye. And congratulations, North West, on having a perfect baby name for modern times.


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