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Privacy in Second Life: Varieties, Issues, and Solutions


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34 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Tell me about it.

I think I have an attractive avatar, but not a stunning "OMG WHO IS THIS VISION?!?!?!?" sort of look. I don't think I turn heads when I walk into room -- and that's evidenced by the fact that that head-moving eye-tracking thing never seems to kick in on anyone's avi when I enter a club or busy gallery. 😏

My avatar looks attractive in photos but when standing side by side with others, maybe not so much.  I'm taller than nearly all women, taller than about half the men, and my thighs are thicker than most women's waists. And my skin shows a lot of muscle. Since switching to Bellza Isis I'm even more chunky now than I was with Lara.

If that's offputting to straight men, well good. 😁

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14 minutes ago, Maitimo said:

My avatar looks attractive in photos but when standing side by side with others, maybe not so much.  I'm taller than nearly all women, taller than about half the men, and my thighs are thicker than most women's waists. And my skin shows a lot of muscle. Since switching to Bellza Isis I'm even more chunky now than I was with Lara.

If that's offputting to straight men, well good. 😁

Well, there we have it then. The key to maintaining privacy in Second Life is having an avatar that does not conform to the common definition of "stunningly attractive and do-able."

I think we can close this thread now. 😃

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18 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

I'm going to go ahead and answer even though your questions were directed at @Profaitchikenz Haikuas I'm also more of a recluse in SL.

I don't know how others perceive me but I see others who are like me and realize I'm not alone.  There are plenty of places for me to socialize when I am in the mood to do so.  It's usually the same 5-10 places so when I do return, people often ask how I've been since they hadn't seen me in awhile.  The few friends on my list know how I am so they may poke my IM just to check in.  I'll rarely be the one to initiate contact with friends because I assume people like their privacy, too.  

My home is set so no one can see in.  Pretty much.the extent of what I or anyone without a full region can do as far as visual privacy.  I suppose if I had an enormous friend list, I'd go ahead and set to Busy if needed.

So, if home, I like to be left alone.  If out, I'm more than happy to.chat with just about anyone...even if they are relentlessly camming my avatar.  😅

Both you and Prof are really useful reminders that not everyone in SL is focused primarily upon the social aspects of the platform (something that those of us who are probably forget too often). And that, needless to say, is entirely valid.

I'm extremely gregarious, really -- I have a pretty large and active friends list, and it's rare that I'll not find myself at least chatting with 3 or more people in IMs any time I log in. And that's not counting the times that I am actively "out and about" -- at clubs (usually 2 or 3 times a week, sometimes more) or galleries, or collaborative photo get-togethers, or exploring, or whatever.

BUT . . .

One of my favourite pastimes in SL is making pictures. And that's not usually a "social" thing (although it occasionally is).

It actually is a source of frustration sometimes that IMs from friends will interrupt my focus on a pic that I'm taking. And picture taking, or setting up a pic, is probably about half of my time in SL. At one time, I used "autorespond" and "busy" to field IMs while I was doing that work, but I found it actually distressed me when an IM from a friend would pop up, and immediately get my autorespond message -- so I'd end up saying hi anyway, and getting involved in chats. There's probably a way of simply hiding the IMs I am receiving, which would at least make me feel a bit less stressed out (or annoyed) when they pop up? I should experiment, I suppose.

Some of my friends know that I am focused on pics, and they'll often be quite tentative when they contact me, on the assumption that I might be busy. Others also know that this is stuff I do by myself, and don't seem to care -- they'll just chat away about the pic I'm taking, or other stuff.

I'm not really resolved on how to handle this. I'll probably just continue bumbling my way through that conflict the way I do now.

18 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

I'll rarely be the one to initiate contact with friends because I assume people like their privacy, too.

Oddly, although I've said I'm gregarious, and I am, this is me too. When I do initiate contact, it's usually apologetically.

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20 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

One interesting question that occurs to me -- at one point does someone's pursuit of "privacy" carry a social cost?

I think that when one keeps one's real life details to oneself, it tends to limit the possibilities for a relationship with others. This may seem obvious however I think there is this notion that one can have relationship that exists totally within SL as roleplay. Such a relationship however is always going to be lacking when compared to relationships with people whom we share our RL information with. This to me is one of the social costs of maintaining a high level of privacy here.

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1 hour ago, Rowan Amore said:

It may seem odd but being in my avatar's personal space bothers me far more than anyone looking at me.  SL being a mostly visual medium, it's expected that people are looking around.  Yes, I've even noticed cams locked on various areas of my avatar.  That honestly doesn't creep me out as much as someone walking up and standing right up near me.  

I am the same way. I tend to panic in RL if someone invades my personal space and it translates into SL as well. If I am in a very crowded club or event, I have to use show friends only otherwise I will experience a full blown panic attack in RL, and if just one person that I don't know gets super close to my avie, it's the same way. I have to either move away or TP out. It's not fun at all.

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20 minutes ago, Ayeleeon said:

I think that when one keeps one's real life details to oneself, it tends to limit the possibilities for a relationship with others. This may seem obvious however I think there is this notion that one can have relationship that exists totally within SL as roleplay. Such a relationship however is always going to be lacking when compared to relationships with people whom we share our RL information with. This to me is one of the social costs of maintaining a high level of privacy here.

This is a very good observation. You've presented the choice of keeping RL details private as a cost, though. While I think that's spot on for many people in SL, it is not true for everyone. Personally, I see it as a benefit. I know quite a few people who, like me, are not in SL to enter into a relationship or to have a busy social life. As I noted elsewhere recently, I'm not a crowd person. I can fake it when I need to, but I am most comfortable on my own. When I am in SL, I am "on vacation";  RL is somewhere else. I don't share more than a few generic details about my life there, even with people I have known in SL for 15 years. If I gave up that privacy, it would be at a cost to what I value in both SL and RL.

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1 hour ago, Sam1 Bellisserian said:

After thinking about this overnight there is one privacy feature that I wish SL would implement and that is to be able to appear completely offline and the ability to log in invisible.  Of course the viewers have that capability but we all know that you can show up on radar or on HUD's you purchase from the marketplace so you are never completely showing offline.  The way SL is coded I don't even know if this would be a possibility. 

The only time this affected me was when I unchecked everyone on my list because while I wanted to be online I didn't particularly want to socialize with anyone and was just there to listen to some music and sort my inventory.  Of course someone saw me on radar that was on my friend's list and got all upset that I wasn't showing online and they assumed I was up to no good and promptly blocked me after informing me that they don't associate with "game players" This was more their problem than mine though but it would have been nice to avoid it. Most likely they would have accused me of being offline all day on purpose so I'm not sure this would have solved that problem anyway.

Whether this would ever be implemented or not isn't that big of a deal but it was something I thought of. Too often I've noticed that once you meet someone, mainly of the opposite sex, all of a sudden they have this expectation of wanting to know exactly when you'll be online and an hour by hour schedule of your activities after knowing you a few days.  I'm not sure if other people have this experience or if it's just me but it quickly makes me NOT want to spend time with them.

Imagine how total invisibility inworld could be misused.  If no one can see you, then no one can hold you responsible for what you do.  Griefing, harassment, sitting in a corner of your home completely unseen.  You could do anything to anyone and no one would even know another avatar is in the same region.

There have been times I wanted to log in without dealing with interruptions.  I've used the away and busy messages, but sometimes I don't even want to deal with that.  My alts don't have friends (except Zerrine who is open about being my alt and has a couple crossover friends,) so when I want complete alone time I use one of them.  It's not perfect, but the idea of invisible avatars seems a little unsafe.

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10 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

You've presented the choice of keeping RL details private as a cost,

No, keeping details secret is not a cost, but every benefit comes with a cost. Owning a car is a benefit, but it comes at a cost in money to purchase it as well as to maintain it. I was not suggesting that keeping our RL details a secret was not worth the cost, though as in the purchase of a car, everyone is going to have a different idea on what it is worth. 

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33 minutes ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

Imagine how total invisibility inworld could be misused.  If no one can see you, then no one can hold you responsible for what you do.  Griefing, harassment, sitting in a corner of your home completely unseen.  You could do anything to anyone and no one would even know another avatar is in the same region.

 

Give me an example of being able to harass someone without me being seen. If I'm sending IM's obviously my name is on them. If I'm rezzing griefing objects then again my name is on them and if not then it won't matter if I show online or not.

The ONLY thing that I can think of is that if I am in the same region and within local chat and someone is talking in local chat then I would be able to eavesdrop on the local conversations without being seen. Then again, if you don't want your conversations to be public don't say anything in local chat you wouldn't want anyone to hear. You did bring up a good point though so I would amend my post to say if you are within local chat range then you should automatically show up on radar.

Also not being seen doesn't mean that LL can't implement that avatars are always seen to them.

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There have been previous methods of making the avatar invisible, although all the methods I know left the name tag showing in the normal position. I was shown a system once where even the name tag was hidden, but I could see the person when I turned on bounding boxes.

It's inevitable that people will play pranks if they find such a toy. I remember Ulrika Berger and I went out on Halloween 2010 as just floating heads with no bodies, but it didn't get much of a response. Similarly, I remember somebody on pigswillfly creeping around as just a name tag to do things like blow in somebody's ear, but again, the reaction of everybody was to just ignore them. The griefing aspect would obviously be to bump or push somebody, but most people know to look at the Help sdropdown to see who's bumping them.

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21 minutes ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

I'm not sure that worked.  How do you quote 1 post from a different thread?

You don't. You can't even edit a quote in if you forget to quote. This forum software is highly restrictive in what posters can and can't do compared to the forums I've been a member of for decades, even after those forums updated to current "standards". Not sure whose standards they are but they definitely are not mine. 

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4 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

You don't. You can't even edit a quote in if you forget to quote. This forum software is highly restrictive in what posters can and can't do compared to the forums I've been a member of for decades, even after those forums updated to current "standards". Not sure whose standards they are but they definitely are not mine. 

Thanks, I edited a screenshot in.

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2 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

You can link to individual posts and threads though. Click on the three dots (of the post or thread you want to link) and then select Share.

That's what I tried, but the link was for the whole thread not the post I wanted.  Maybe because I'm currently on my phone not my laptop?

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3 minutes ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

That's what I tried, but the link was for the whole thread not the post I wanted.  Maybe because I'm currently on my phone not my laptop?

If you want just a single post, go to the post and then click on the 3 dots for that post then hit share.

 

Like this:

 

 

Edit: I linked my own post in case that confuses you.

Edited by Silent Mistwalker
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1 hour ago, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

On the subject of data the lab collects, this was posted in an unrelated thread

Okay, since I can't fix this, here is the pic I wanted to share from that thread.  Some data the Lab collects:2060504896_Screenshot_20220113-112953_SamsungInternet.thumb.jpg.29455a5008dfa43701544eece6730682.jpg

 

I had a similar email. I wondered at the time what the heck I was supposed to think about or do with the information contained within. I didn't much like my stats being compared to the average resident. It made me feel like I was being given a "D- Must try harder!"

I've come to realise over the years that the level of privacy possible to have in Second Life is much less than I have a right to expect in Real Life, but I remind myself this is a social platform and I make more of an effort to be sociable, although my instincts tell me to keep away from most people, and that instinct has grown stronger over the years.  

What IS important to me is common courtesy. It will NEVER be acceptable to me, for example, for a naked couple to enter my home uninvited with or without flexicum (yes this actually happened when I was living on a PG region on the mainland). I did not want to have to utilise ban lines as I am against them and don't like it when I am flying and bounce into them.  

But I have double-standards and have thought nothing about invading a box of bots though - but only because they are bots. 

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as far as remedies go, i still would like a invisible parcel box. Like in the space above 3,000 meters in the sky

nothing outside the box is received by those inside the box. Nothing inside the  box is received by those outside the box

nothing means nothing. When inside the box then you show as offline to everything (including scripts) and everyone not inside the box

except for Godmode Linden accounts, they can see everything and everyone same as normal

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7 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Oddly, although I've said I'm gregarious, and I am, this is me too. When I do initiate contact, it's usually apologetically.

This is how I am.  I am more than happy to talk to anyone, but I rarely initiate IMs because I'm pretty sure everyone else is busy lol

My personal view of privacy in SL is that it's primarily a polite fiction.  We rez in naked half the time, so our pixels are never truly completely covered (unless one wears BOM undies all the time which, even with my rather modest SL default, I rarely do).  Nothing we do inworld is unrecorded, more or less... so I just take the world as that and go with it.

My homes are open for folks to wander through if I'm not home.  Shoot, I took the trouble to decorate them, so wander away!  I do, however, take a perverse amount of joy in making sure all my publicly accessible homes have strictly G-to-PG rated furniture.  As Matti said, if you want the adult animations, go get your own :P

We have one parcel that's no-see, which is where I usually change clothes.  It also has an aggressive security orb with a limited field (not much over the top of the house, spanning the whole parcel that's surrounded by a wall of trees), and it does the trick.  Sure, someone could hover JUST outside the range of the orb and cam in... but that's why the Linden Gods gave us the ban function.

I'm pretty open about who I am RL, and my RL picture is on my first life tab.  My husband and I met inworld, so we've already recklessly crossed the streams.  But I also respect those who prefer to keep aspects of their personal lives private.  I take people how they present inworld; if they care to disclose more, cool.  And if they don't, that's also fine.  I don't go into people's houses uninvited (my open properties have it in the land description that wandering through is fine, although if I'm home one should knock), I don't pry... I just try to treat people the way I'd like to be treated.

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I'd like to have the "Avatars on other parcels can see and chat with avatars on this parcel" also prohibit camming into the parcel from outside. (Yes, a viewer could be modified to override that, although you still won't see avatars because the server isn't sending you avatar updates.)

With a second checkbox, require an obstacle-free line of sight to "sit" or "teleport" within that parcel. That would cause walls and doors to actually keep avatars out. That feature would be useful not just for privacy, but for roleplay and game sims, as an anti-cheat mechanism.

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10 minutes ago, animats said:

I'd like to have the "Avatars on other parcels can see and chat with avatars on this parcel" also prohibit camming into the parcel from outside. (Yes, a viewer could be modified to override that, although you still won't see avatars because the server isn't sending you avatar updates.)

With a second checkbox, require an obstacle-free line of sight to "sit" or "teleport" within that parcel. That would cause walls and doors to actually keep avatars out. That feature would be useful not just for privacy, but for roleplay and game sims, as an anti-cheat mechanism.

Those would certainly go a long way to enhancing privacy -- or reducing the ability to get around the affordances currently available for those who want privacy in their own parcels.

How technically feasible are these? Certainly, they would also increase the "realism" of our interactions with the physical environment as well.

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I'm no security expert, but it sounds to me as though you are taking the precautions that you should from that perspective. In fact, more than I do: I don't worry much about my media stream. (Given what I know about how Redzone used to work, I probably should -- but going to clubs to hear music is one of my pleasures in-world.)

As for your attitude towards privacy . . . I really do believe that everyone should have the tools and the right to exercise as much or (as little) privacy as they want, but I'll confess that I am on the "not-so-private" side of the spectrum myself, and I tend to find others who are equally (or more) "open" much more attractive as friends. Not in the sense that I need to know their RL details -- I just find caginess and caution less appealing than frankness and openness.

And I'd say that this, which seems to rather sum up your attitude . . .

On 1/12/2022 at 7:10 PM, Cinnamon Mistwood said:

My doors are unlocked.

. . . kind of exemplifies an attitude that I, personally, treasure.

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