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Hello, I was asked by someone if the photos we upload from our computers into Second Life contain any kind of identifying information.

If you wonder why anyone would think this, there is concern in the rest of the internet about sharing photos because of geotagging and what not.

So my question is, is there any kind of info stored in our textures/photos when we upload them into Second Life?

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Well, strictly speaking, there is a way, if you really want to.   You can embed all kinds of information into an image, via digital watermarking.  Slight color variations, imperceptible to the human eye, but easily discernible by any computer, can be incorporated directly into the pixels that comprise the image.  Since these variations have mathematical values, they can be representative of just about anything, from an embedded logo to identify your work for copyright purposes, to super secret spy code for furthering your plot to take over the world.

As for metadata such as geotags, tell your friend he or she can safely put away the tin foil hat.  To elaborate on Griffin's point, that stuff really can't be included.  When you upload an image to SL, you don't actually upload your original source file.  The image is first copied and conveterd by the viewer to a different format, JPEG2000, so it will be compatible with SL's server-side requirements.  Your source file never leaves your own hard drive; only the new JPEG2000 copy is uploaded.  This new file does not contain any metadata that might have been attached to the original. 

All SL wants is your pixels; it doesn't know your metadata even exists. :)

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I'm not sure what you're getting at, Faubio.  The UUID is simply the database key for the file.  It's an arbitrary title number, created when the uploaded item is added into the asset server system.  It's used simply for identifying the file internally within the system, just like with any other entry in any other database.  It's got nothing to do with any metadata from the original source material, and does not in any way speak to where or with whom the file originated prior to upload.

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http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/UUID

from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globally_Unique_Identifier#Common_uses

"The term GUID also is used for Microsoft's implementation of the Universally unique identifier (UUID) standard."

"Second Life uses GUIDs for identification of all assets in its world."

They can be searched

http://www.ggc-stream.com/search/server/guid

 

(EDIT) I'm not going to argue with you about it. I'm done.

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Faubio Alter wrote:

(EDIT) I'm not going to argue with you about it. I'm done.

That's fine, just don't misinform and confuse people by pulling a term completely out of context.

Saying a UUID holds your personal data is like saying a book holds your personal data. If I know all your personal information and put it in a book it doesn't mean ALL books contain your personal information.

You said so yourself: "Second Life uses GUIDs for identification of all assets in its world." That means exactly what it says, not what you made of it. It means what Chosen said earlier, a tool if you will for finding things on servers.

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Faubio Alter wrote:

from

"The term
GUID
also is used for Microsoft's implementation of the Universally unique identifier (UUID) standard."

"Second Life uses GUIDs for identification of all assets in its world."


I still don't get what you're trying to say, Faubio.  What personally identifiable information do you feel is incorporated into SL's UUID system?  What evidence can you offer to support your theory?

Whether you call it "UUID" or "GUID", it's still just a database key.  It's an ID number for an entry, nothing more, nothing less.  The number itself does not say anything about what's in the entry.

In the case of textures, the ID number references an image file.  That's it.

 


Faubio Alter wrote:

They can be searched


The particular search engine you linked  searches out the ID numbers utilized within the particular database used on that particular site.  It's a listing of player accounts on certain game servers, the operators of which have opted to participate in the communal ban-management system that that site offers as a service. 

What was your point in offering that link?  It's got nothing to do with SL.

 

Even if that engine were set up to search SL user accounts (which it absolutely is not), that wouldn't have anything to do with the UUID's of SL textures. And even if could search through the ID numbers of SL textures as well, that still wouldn't have anything to do with determining where any particular texture came from.  So again, what exactly were you trying to say?

 


Faubio Alter wrote:

 

(EDIT) I'm not going to argue with you about it. I'm done.

We can have a discussion without having an argument.  When you present information, and someone asks you to further explain what you meant, that's positive, not negative.  We're all here to make sure that the best possible information is available to all.

You make it sound like you're so afraid of the prospect of being proven wrong that you'd rather just pack up your toys and go home than enjoy the potential benefits of learning something you didn't know before.  That's a really unfortunate attitude. 

If you've got additional information that will demonstrate with certainty that my own understanding here is incorrect in any way, I'll thank you for sharing it, and for setting me straight.  It would be great if you felt the same way about furthering your own knowledge via this kind of discussion.

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I think the copncern is the part of the GUID wiikipaedia entry where it says that GUID based on MAC address and time can be (and have been) used to trace individuals.

I thought I was going to go on to say that surely the SL UUIDs were generated by the asset server or the sim server, removing that concern. However, a quick look at the source code shows that the viewer does indeed have the facility to generate UUIDs (lluuid.cpp). I am not inclined (or capable?) of examining this in detail, but the UUID generating functions do appear to look up the MAC address and the time. However, they also use an MD5 hash function that I imagine is intended to make that information unrecoverable.

Anyway, the fact that the viewer can make UUIDs does not necessarily mean the UUIDs used by the asset server are from that source. Any comment from someone more familiar with UUID issues, in general or specifically in SL, would be valuable here.

ETA: Perhaps more to the point, I would imagine the asset server already contains timestamp and originator data for the upload anyway, so that it's there for LL even if not for users. This is surely essential for resolution of IP disputes.

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Drongle McMahon wrote:

ETA: Perhaps more to the point, I would imagine the asset server already contains timestamp and originator data for the upload anyway, so that it's there for LL even if not for users. This is surely essential for resolution of IP disputes.

I know from previous discussion on that subject that LL at one point had talked about implementing such a feature, for exactly that reason.  Whether they actually ever followed through, though, I don't know.  

The obvious counter-argument is that just because you know who uploaded an asset and when doesn't in any way mean you know who owns the IP.  With that in mind, about the only real potential benefit of such a feature might be in the ease of dealing with repeat offenders, once ownership has been established through other means.  This perhaps makes sense, since the presence of a reasonable means by which to block repeat offenders is a DMCA requirement.

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Indeed. In fact I know of a texture that I created and put elsewhere, which was uploaded and sold before I uploaded it. In this case I could prove the origin as it was made in a afractal program and only I have the generating parameters. I can't be bothered though. It wasn't very good anyway. :catlol: (had to play with the new smilies).

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