More on verification

A lot has been written in the blogs and forums about the new verification policy in Second Life. Some I agree with, and some not, of course.

I had planned to rant, but it’s been done already by others, so I won’t, for now. I still don’t trust it one bit though. Robin and Daniel met some residents yesterday to explain more, and guess what? Everyone started saying “Ooh, that’s alright then”, when they really didn’t tell us anything more than they already had. We now have confirmation that Integrity is the one owned by Aristotle, and Linden have told us, don’t worry, they’ll never share data, in fact, it’ll not even be recorded – though they will store it for two years in a vaulted database in case the US government wants a quick peek. So um, how do they do that if it’s not recorded? And um, if, as they said, they couldn’t unlock it if they wanted to, then how can they unlock it for the government?

It’s all stuff we’ve heard before from every company that wants to store your information. It’s usually lies. So if they store it, then where are the servers? Do they comply with the UK DPA, or similar legislation elsewhere?

So anyway, that’s Integrity for you. What about the grid. This is where it gets challenging, and it’s been asked by many. The current payment based verification is being removed, so all the allow access by payment status will be gone… Maybe good, maybe bad – I never agreed with it in the first place and have been banned because of it, even though I was verified myself, being paid-up. Well also now, since there are so many anonymous accounts here, it opens the door to more griefing, so, in order to defend themselves, more and more places who normally wouldn’t will declare their land to be Adult. There will be some hold-outs for sure, Caledon and Darkmere are two I know of, but for how long once they start getting griefed? The ban-list can only be so long after all. And once 99% of the grid is Adult, those of us who are left will have to verify or leave Second Life.

So ok, maybe that’s a little paranoid, maybe not. It’s unlikely to happen yet anyway. In the normal course of things, what makes a place Adult. Well, according to Linden Lab, it’s explicit sexual or violent content, but it will be the community who decides via the Abuse Report system. Of course, estate managers, being immune from abuse reports will decide as they like, at least to begin with. On the mainland though, hrm, there are some ultra-conservative types among us. What will get abuse reported as being adult content first? Will it be furries, or Gor, or the bdsm community, or the lgbt community or who? If you’re slightly off-message with your neighbours, you could be forced to declare your land as Adult. Nice!

There’s potential for more, but nobody knows yet how it will pan out. Opt-in verification by age, gender, location and so on in your first-life profile. You know how this works though, if and when it comes… It’s not optional at all, because not opting in gives an unverified status, and that means you’re lying about something… This will wait for another post, or posts, on another day.

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One thought on “More on verification”

  1. Obviously, LL doesn’t believe me that I am adult. Why should I believe them that Integrity will not sell my data. Thay have more in it. Minor that lies about its age can get what in SL? A couple of lap-dancing loop animations and maybe a dirty chat. Company with thousands of real people’s data can get a lot of money. So, who it to show trust first? We? I don’t think so.

    Other thing is that silly principle of flagging what is and what is not to be considered as adult content. It is pointless is such a measure that it raises the question of real motives for age verification. So, you and me can buy an island and put sodoma and gomora there built by Markiz de Sad himself and not to consider it adult. On the other side of the grid, a club can be flagged because dancers’ skirts are not covering their knees. And they expect us to believe that the age verification is about protecting kids from seeing porn?

    Third… U.S. government can take a look in those data (which is not stored), right? I am European resident and ther is no way I will give Uncle Sam a single number from any of my IDs. Period. I am already pissed enough on RIAA thinking they are in charge for all the internet.

    I am not going to give them nothing. If my second life becomes to boring because I cannot reach some parcels, fine. Maybe it is time to go playing with Croquet. It is low populated, there is not much content. It is a bit hard to start it for the first time. But hey, SL was an empty land few years ago. SL is easy to start but most of the time it is heavy to walk and impossible to teleport. I have no problems with walking and teleporting in Croquet. It is opensourced from the beginning, and there are not problems with verifications, privacy and things like that. As much as I am patient about bugs of SL (and I, as much as other residents, am tolerating them too much) I will not tolerate this kind of behaviour for a single second.

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