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Toysoldier Thor wrote:


Qie Niangao wrote:


Showing online status is indeed a violation of privacy

No, it's really not. When Redzone was leaking RL IP addresses associated with SL agents,
that
was (at least arguably) a privacy violation.  Showing online status, and doing so despite having a UI element purporting to disable it, is misleading for those who don't know better, and a significant inconvenience for some who do.  If they can close all the ways that happens, it might be a good thing, but the only "privacy" that would protect is role-played.

Protecting pretend privacy indeed might be a good business decision for LL.  It may make more people use the service. It's just not anything like the sort of thing that got Google a 20-year FTC babysitter.

Totally agree on this point and I disagree with the statement from Feldspar. 

Being able to know if an Avatar is or is not ONLINE is NOT a privacy issue. 

"PRIVACY" is technically the ability protect your personal content that is not normally public knowledge information.  Examples of this would be protection against being able to ask for and receive an Avatar's source IP address (like what RedZone completely violated), an Avatar's account email address, RL name and address etc.

The fact that I am SL ONLINE or not is NOT private information.  Your RL identity is not compromised or exposed because I can find out that you are online.  The state of your Avatar is not a peice of private information.  If this is true then LL's policy should not only ban the ability to know an Avatar is online... under this policy no one should also be able to know your status is BUSY or AWAY.  These are also States of the Avatar.

So - a STATE OF AN AVATAR IS NOT A PRIVACY ISSUE.

Now, it would be a NICE FEATURE (not a mandatory law) that a SL Account holder could opt in to the ability to PRETEND that I am offline when I really am not.  And this sorta already exists even though most SL users know how to easily check by other means if you are pretending to be offline.  But the point is that this should be an OPTIONAL FEATURE for each user and not a mandatory law that impacts all users - most of whom dont care that their online status is known.

So lets not jump on the bandwagon of LL's that the state of an avatar is an element of avatar data that must be deemed PRIVATE information.  ITS NOT!

You're right totally. I can see when my **friends** are on Facebook!

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Coby Foden wrote:


Toysoldier Thor wrote:

Now, it would be a NICE FEATURE (not a mandatory law) that a SL Account holder could opt in to the ability to PRETEND that I am offline when I really am not.


I would love that feature "
Appear as if offline
". If somebody IMs they would get the same reply as if I was really offline. Naturally all other means by which one could see the true online status should then show "Offline".

There are times - building, adjusting clothes, arranging inventory, following group IMs, etc - when one wants to be totally alone, undisturbed by friends' IMs: "Hi, how are you?", "What are you doing?", "Can we chat?", "Can we meet?", etc.

Logging into a virtual world does not always mean that we are at once ready to rock and socialize with our friends. We do need our peace in solitude even in virtual world occasionally.

It would be nice if that was a toggle you could set *before* logging in.

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:

Being able to know if an Avatar is or is not ONLINE is NOT a privacy issue. 

"PRIVACY" is technically the ability protect your personal content that is not normally public knowledge information.  Examples of this would be protection against being able to ask for and receive an Avatar's source IP address (like what RedZone completely violated), an Avatar's account email address, RL name and address etc.

You can make up definitions if they support how you feel I suppose, that doesn't make your defenition correct in any way. You are completely missing what privacy actually means.

"condition of being alone"

"A state of being in private or in retirement; seclusion; secrecy; solitude; retirement"

"The quality or state of being hidden from, or undisturbed by, the observation or activities of other persons"

"Freedom from undesirable intrusions"


All the above are from dictionaries and describe a whole lot better what privacy means. Using any of the above, how does "being able to know if an avatar is online or not" fit the definition?

This is not about LL's decision on breaking the script without thinking it through, but it makes the motivations perfectly reasonable though if you ask me, I like my privacy and I also like SL. At home I can close the curtains and unplug/turn off the phone when I want privacy, something similair for SL is very welcome.

There's more to fix with for example the groups cheat and it's not exactly a perfect solution, I can agree on that.

If LL can implement it in a better way, that would be a great advantage for all the mentioned club and mall owners using online status boards. How annoying must it be to see 20 people on such a sign then having to find out the first 19 are busy and can't help you? Wouldn't it be more convenient if only that last person was visible as "online" or "available"?

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Let me reiterate what i see the majority of posts are saying:

1) Having a "True Offline" mode is accepted by most, if not all residents, including myself, being a business owner and script maker.

2) Disabling script support and showing all second life users as offline without recourse is highly disputed and will cause a wave of problems and loss of user base.

From my perspective, the actual underlying problem is that SL's Offline/Stealth mode is broken, and doesnt actually show as offline as it should. Also, a user should expect not to be able to receive offline messages, package deliveries, message deliveries or other notifications if they log in as offline/stealth.

But in accordance to Linden Lab history, it is better to create a new feature or take away a feature, than it is to fix a bug or listen to its users. As of this post (~230), this thread has the largest number of posts and views of all threads in thisforum that are not official LL posts.

 

It shows how important this problem is to most, and how a simple bugfix would calm it all down. If you agree or disagree, please reply to this post and voice your opinion

--

Kae Fox

http://myslon.com

Chimera Development LLc

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Ossian wrote:

 

It would be nice if that was a toggle you could set *before* logging in.

Indeed! Two alternative ways to login:

• Login normally

• Login and appear offline

That would be great!

 sSig_agreed.gif

It would be great also when we have logged in if there was a toggle:

• Appear online

• Appear offline

I really don't get it why when loggin into virtual world we are at once forced to appear online. :smileyindifferent:

 

PS.

I don't understand either why there is a need for avatar to be physically online for the invetory deliveries to work reliably. I'm sure that the asset database itself does not require it. Surely it can drop items to avatar whether the avatar is online or not. Maybe the direct delivery function will be able to do the deliveries reliably whatever the avatar's online status is?

question.gif

 

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According to Kelly Linden's post over in the Scripting forum, the simple bug fix -- make llRequestAgentData respect preferences set in the viewer -- isn't quite as simple to implement as one might wish.

I think it may very well be the case that LL should look at developing a proper "offline mode" (that you can set both before log-in and while online) on the lines of SVC-7052 and leave llRequestAgentData alone for the time being, while keeping the new prohibition on using the function in TPVs, at least, to circumvent people's settings.

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Kwak,

Your english dictionary definitions of "PRIVACY" in your posting was a good artistic slant on the discussion of what LL was referring to regarding LL's recent policy changes to strengthen their almost legal interest in protecting PRIVACY but these common dictionary terms are not the definitions that are commonly used or in scope to the LEGAL description of Privacy.

Several countries and government agencies have and/or are developling laws to protect individual's rights to privacy and this definition of privacy has little to do about what you described.... i.e. its not about your rights to be left alone.

It more centers around what I was posting... its about the level of rights an individual has to keep his/her personal information PRIVATE (i.e. not available for public use or redistribution without this person's prior knowledge and permission) as well as the rights of the individual request from any users of this information how their information is used and being handled.

This is very likely the reference of PRIVACY that LL has been referring to if they are wrapping new and stronger Corporate policies around it.  The reason behind this heightened LL interest in PRIVACY is to protect LL itself from possible future RL Government scrutiny on how LL is addressing their legal obligations to protect their customer's Privacy rights)

Now, in many Privacy laws and acts there are stipulations as to what is deemed private and not private personal information, but generally the line is drawn around personal information that typically is not readily available on public records or that cannot be easily be discovered by common information collection means.  If the personal information can easily be discovered without the individual having to release the information him/herself then its generally not consider PRIVATE Personal data that is covered under the laws.

This aspect of many laws in some cases can be a blurry line for some types of data where as other data is clearly on one side of the line or the other.

For example, my full name is NOT considered private data that would be covered in most privacy laws.  But, my social insurance number IS considered private data that I have rights to protect.  

LL operates in the USA and my understanding is that US laws on individual's rights to protect their private information is far lower than countries like Canada where I live.  Although US privacy laws are much weaker - they are the laws that LL must be sure to uphold. 

BUT, LL is also dealing with an even more blurry line on Privacy... they need to ensure that they are protecting their RL Customer's private data from public access but they are not likely legally obliged to protect much of the information about a virtual character in a video game / virtual world - for a few reasons.  A couple that come to mind is that a virtual character / avatar likely has no legal rights nor is recognized as a legal individual in any courts - therefor how can privacy laws be applied to a non-legally defined entity.  Secondly, the virtual charactor is not 100% attached to a single RL individual - i.e. I can give my account and passowrd to another person, share it, give it away, abandon it, etc.  So who's RL identity would I really be protecting?

As such, my logic on why online status of an avatar is NOT in scope of information that LL need to protect under the definition of privacy is that an avatar's online status has no risk ot violating a LL RL Customer's right to protect his/her private information.  LL must be sure to protect its customers from having their IP Address, RL Name behind the Avatar, or email address harvested by others without their consent but for LL to shut down the ability for anyone to query on an avatar's online status does not fit in this scope.

What LL wants to do is remove a valuable legit function that is used for countless legit reasons and not a concern by most SL account holders to protect the interests of a few.  What LL could have done about ONLINE STATUS is improve the function of the SL Service and Viewers that allows a SL customer the option of becoming fully invisible if they want to.

But Kwak, the fact that in RL you are entitled to draw your curtains or can unplug your phone from the wall to give you some personal privacy has nothing to do with any legal rights of a service to protect those actions in a virtual world.  And a virtual world provider like LL should not allow anyone to have windows or access to a phone directory simply because you want to cover YOUR windows or unplug YOUR phone.

 

Now I know there are a couple SL Forum bullies that like to attack me by picking apart statements I make (she knows who she is) so I will finish my posting by making this statement....

Everything I posted here is only my personal summarization, description and interpretation of the topic based on my RL experience having to work with the Canadian Privacy Act and when designing I.S. systems where the customer's collected / used personal information has to be classified and then protected if the data is deemed private.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

According to
over in the Scripting forum, the simple bug fix -- make llRequestAgentData respect preferences set in the viewer -- isn't quite as simple to implement as one might wish.

I think it may very well be the case that LL should look at developing a proper "offline mode" (that you can set both before log-in and while online) on the lines of
 and leave llRequestAgentData alone for the time being, while keeping the new prohibition on using the function in TPVs, at least, to circumvent people's settings.

I totally agree with this statement.   What LL needs to do is for a "I want to be left alone"  "I dont want anyone to know I am online" function to be moved as a server function.  A parameter in the AVATAR table should be "INVISIBLE STATE" that can be set by any means by the account holder to be YES or NO.

Then LL could modify all dependent code around this parameter so that it must query this parameter before executing the action that would reveal this avatar's status.  Its not really REVEALING an avatar's status that we are talking about though.

What SL residents want is the ability to PRETEND THAT HE/SHE IS OFFLINE without any way of discovering the real truth elsewhere.  And Residents want this function to be an individual OPT IN and not a global banning of the ability to query.

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I think what I would like -- ideally -- is something akin to being able to turn my cellphone off in RL, and have all messages go straight to voicemail,  when I don't want to be disturbed -- be that because I'm working on my own, or in a meeting, or chilling with some friends and don't want other people bothering me.

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Lilmix Pixelmaid wrote:

That would be known as busy mode... Turning a cell phone off does not tell the sender that you are not even on the planet...

The problem with "busy" is that I can't properly interact with scripted objects (like buying stuff, or -- I think -- even getting menus up from stuff) and if I'm with some friends in a club I can't  chat with them using IMs.      And I wholly agree that turning a cell phone off doesn't tell the sender that I'm not on the planet.   But since I have never inferred from the fact someone is not showing as online that they are no longer on the planet, nor even that they are not necessarily logged into SL,  I don't really see why that's a problem.   

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:

 

Your english dictionary definitions of "PRIVACY" in your posting was a good artistic slant on the discussion of what LL was referring to regarding LL's recent policy changes to strengthen their almost legal interest in protecting PRIVACY but these common dictionary terms are not the definitions that are commonly used or in scope to the LEGAL description of Privacy.

Neither being slant or ment to be artistic. People all over SL and all over the forums have been asking for better privacy tools and they do mean privacy as I described it using a couple of dictionaries. What they usually get to hear in this thread and several others is "that privacy in SL is phony" or "there is not ment to be any privacy" or even ""your avatar being seen online when you don't want to is not a privacy issue". So all I was pointing out was there is a more universal definition of the word. There are plenty of acknowledged JIRA's on the subject so SL is taking this seriously, as they should.

 


This is very likely the reference of PRIVACY that LL has been referring to if they are wrapping new and stronger Corporate policies around it.  The reason behind this heightened LL interest in PRIVACY is to protect LL itself from possible future RL Government scrutiny on how LL is addressing their legal obligations to protect their customer's Privacy rights)

VERY unlikely.

I'm not an expert by any means when it comes to scripting, but even a fifthgradercan see the llRequestAgentData does not return your IP address, your home phone number, your social security number, a copy of any of your intellectual properties or your wedding pictures. You mentioned something similair yourself. You can't honestly think LL believes this function change will make a difference for the very narrow and specific description of privacy you use and you can't honestly think LL think they can change the function just for the hell of it then use a made up excuse for doing so. Customer care can always be better, SL is no exception, but blaming LL for bullying some random merchants and clubowners doesn't sound very likely.

What you describe might be a push in the back for LL to brush up their privacy regulations and inforcements as a whole, including what I describe, which could be fixed partially by restricting the llRequestAgentData. As I said, whether the way LL is handling it is good or not is besides the point. As I understand it, LL is looking at the function again and I doubt that is because of all the loudmouths here on the forum, rather the people using the JIRA's to explain what the change would mean to their business and why... and why they want or need the function the way it is now.

 


And a virtual world provider like LL should not allow anyone to have windows or access to a phone directory simply because you want to cover YOUR windows or unplug YOUR phone.

Deny rather than allow I suspect? No LL should make sure anyone can close their windows and unplug the phone when they want to. Now they are hearing whole cityblocks are cut off, which they should have forseen maybe, but now that they do, better late than never, they are looking at an alternative.

 


Everything I posted here is only my personal summarization, description and interpretation of the topic based on my RL experience having to work with the Canadian Privacy Act and when designing I.S. systems where the customer's collected / used personal information has to be classified and then protected if the data is deemed private.

That might be what is narrowing your vision. Here in the Netherlands (Yes I do not mind disclosing some personal information), RL privacy, the way I define privacy, is under fire. So it's nice to be able to close my RL windows, turn off my phone, start SL to relax and be able to do the same thing there. Maybe that colors my vision a bit aswell, but I do try to keep an open mind.

 

 

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I know and have heard what many SL Residents want - i.e. to be left alone and not visible to anyone if and when they want to be.   But this is not legally an enforceable PRIVACY that LL "MUST" develop regulations, policies, and enforcement of. 

And that is the argument brought up here when someone said that the script in question IS a violation of Privacy.  Its not a legal violation of privacy ... its just a violation of an old outdated and weak "pretend I am not here" privacy that LL put in the viewers long time ago but that every SL Resident has known for a long time how to bypass - with or without this new policy and breaking of the LSL script.  All you have to do is ping an avatar via IM and depending on the respone, you know right away if the person is just hiding from you or really not logged in.

No one arguing that LL should find a better and more fool proof method that allows a specific Avatar account to look as if they are not online when they actually are.  They current idea is STUPID.

 

LL must however protect their customer's private / person / RL information and their Customer's right to anonymity from the avatar.  I was giving you examples and you took it completely out of context.  So I will say it a bit differently... IN GENERAL... LL must have policies and strictly enforce and protect their customers from any attempt by someone to extract and collect one of their customer's personal private information... such as IP address, RL name, email address, etc.   the posterchild example of a massive violation of this protection that LL took far to long to respond to although they finally did the right thing was REDZONE.

So... when you posted the following....


This is very likely the reference of PRIVACY that LL has been referring to if they are wrapping new and stronger Corporate policies around it.  The reason behind this heightened LL interest in PRIVACY is to protect LL itself from possible future RL Government scrutiny on how LL is addressing their legal obligations to protect their customer's Privacy rights)

VERY unlikely.

I'm not an expert by any means when it comes to scripting, but even a fifthgradercan see the llRequestAgentData does not return your IP address, your home phone number, your social security number, a copy of any of your intellectual properties or your wedding pictures. You mentioned something similair yourself. You can't honestly think LL believes this function change will make a difference for the very narrow and specific description of privacy you use and you can't honestly think LL think they can change the function just for the hell of it then use a made up excuse for doing so. Customer care can always be better, SL is no exception, but blaming LL for bullying some random merchants and clubowners doesn't sound very likely.

You completely misunderstood the point I was making.  In no way was I suggesting that the script being broken had the ability to extract such information.  I was trying to tell you what information LL must protect of their customers.  AND SURELY your online status is not one of them.

 

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You might want to reread the last paragraph of my post... or maybe the entire one... didn't I say you mentioned "something similair"?

There's more to privacy than just the very narrow legal aspect.... and the more universal privacy is something lots of people value. It's a good thing LL responds to those people.

I could have responded to someone else, your post was just convenient since, like many people, you seem to overlook some very critical things which are the reason of LL breaking the script. No attacking from this side, hardly any disagreement even, just adding...

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Innula, You may be correct about a simple bug fix to change llRequestAgentData, but my simple bug fix would be to add a "Log in as offline" to the home screen of the SL viewer. There would be no [Announce] packet sent out to the grid that a user had logged in.

In any scenario, venders need a reliable way to deliver products, notecards and IMs. A user set to offline would undoubtedly have to deal with the fact that they have chosen to appear offline. They would get none of the benefits on being online, as is their choice.

Who/What is to differentiate between a valid Vender and a malicious object?

Remember that this is just to cater to the 'squeaky wheels' that are complaining, which i believe is a very low percentage of users. If they want to then complain they dont get the benefits of being online, then why did you go offline in the first place?

To strengthen the big picture, deliveries would need to be made instantly, say to a "Recent Deliveries" System Folder. This would support Objects and Notecards. However, there would not be a way to support Object generated IMs. I noticed recently that SL created a PM system which is annoying and not a proper solution. Invading my first life without my wanting it is kinda defeating the purpose of SL. Did i mention that most users _want_ to be online and visible to others? like maybe the whole reason to log into a massively multiplayer chat construction environment?

Anyway, the whole thing seems ridiculous to me. If they wont fix llRequestAgentData, then it will come down to a choice. The living breathing economy of many _important_ key mechanisms to bypass the multitudes of SL problems already plaguing the populous or choose to cater to the complainers.

If this goes down the way its looking like it is... Im going to laugh my ass off and then cancel my premium membership and my 6+ land rentals along with most likely a swoth of others. I have this sneaking suspicion that SL has a greater goal like somehow linking into Facebook or becoming some increasingly LL created world where all current users are invalid, as they would be replaced with 'new market' users. The funny part will be when the primary partner or social network they depend on realizes that SL is held together with paper clips and what seem like greed directed choices.

Dont get me wrong, if SL would stop making bad decisions or patches to patch patches from v1.0 then id be all for it. Ive been a member for 7 years, which is saying alot. Yeah, was always curious how SL would vanish into wiki history and this looks like an excellent place to start.

--

Kae Fox

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Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

There's more to privacy than just the very narrow legal aspect.... and the more universal privacy is something lots of people value. It's a good thing LL responds to those people.

It's a good thing only to the extent that it makes Linden Lab more revenue because more people spend more time and money on the platform.  It's not in and of itself a good thing, nor is it remotely related to "privacy" as used in the internet-connected context.

If you want to call this thing "privacy" because it matches abstract definitions in a broader, less on-point context, well, I can't stop you, but that usage here really dilutes this term (it sure ain't "privacy" of the sort that Arab Spring organizers needed from Twitter & Facebook, nor the kind that, if violated by yahoo, can send Chinese dissidents to re-education camp, nor even the kind that interferes with P&G knowing which soap I buy on Tuesdays). This watered-down usage even leads folks to the paranoid speculation that LL must do this to comply with some law.

Back to whether it's good or not:  I generally favor the idea that, on balance, it would likely be marginally better if there were an "appear offline" mode that really worked. The opposite position, however, is not without merit: Maybe it would be better if nobody could connect to SL without being available for social interaction -- that such interaction should be reinforced as the whole point of the platform.  I'm not convinced that would be better, but it's not really wrong, either.

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:

 

And that is the argument brought up here when someone said that the script in question IS a violation of Privacy.  Its not a legal violation of privacy ... its just a violation of an old outdated and weak "pretend I am not here" privacy that LL put in the viewers long time ago but that every SL Resident has known for a long time how to bypass - with or without this new policy and breaking of the LSL script.  All you have to do is ping an avatar via IM and depending on the respone, you know right away if the person is just hiding from you or really not logged in.

It may not be a violation of privacy in the legal sense, but it is not old and outdated. Off the top of my head I could list 2 dozen current programs and services that have the exact same option that work at you'd expect. IMing people to see if they're online could be fixed in the same way so that's not much of a counter argument.


No one arguing that LL should find a better and more fool proof method that allows a specific Avatar account to look as if they are not online when they actually are.  They current idea is STUPID.

Fixing this requires breaking scripts, there is no way around it. Not saying it's the right idea but we can't have our cake and eat it too.

 

 

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Coby Foden wrote:


Ossian wrote:

 

It would be nice if that was a toggle you could set *before* logging in.

Indeed!
Two alternative ways to login:

• Login normally

• Login and appear offline

That would be great!

 
sSig_agreed.gif

It would be great also when we have logged in if there was a toggle
:

• Appear online

• Appear offline

I really don't get it why when loggin into virtual world we are at once forced to appear online. :smileyindifferent:

 

PS.

I don't understand either why there is a need for avatar to be physically online for the invetory deliveries to work reliably. I'm sure that the asset database itself does not require it. Surely it can drop items to avatar whether the avatar is online or not. Maybe the direct delivery function will be able to do the deliveries reliably whatever the avatar's online status is?

question.gif

 

I agree with all of that.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

It's a good thing
only
to the extent that it makes Linden Lab more revenue because more people spend more time and money on the platform.  It's not in and of itself a good thing, nor is it remotely related to "privacy" as used in the internet-connected context.

No it's good because people should be able to do things inworld without being disturbed.

 


If you want to call this thing "privacy" because it matches abstract definitions in a broader, less on-point context, well, I can't stop you, but that usage here really dilutes this term (it sure ain't "privacy" of the sort that Arab Spring organizers needed from Twitter & Facebook, nor the kind that, if violated by yahoo, can send Chinese dissidents to re-education camp, nor even the kind that interferes with P&G knowing which soap I buy on Tuesdays).

Being able to do things without being disturbed either by friends who want to chat or by stalkers/griefers who want to harass someone, how is that watered-down? It's just another form of privacy. As I said before, LL changed the setting for a reason and as far as I know they never said it was for the privacy reasons you describe, that would be pretty stupid. I think we can also agree they didn't do it just to kill some time or just to upset a part of their customers. So why did they do it then? Very likely because of what I describe.

 


This watered-down usage even leads folks to the paranoid speculation that LL must do this to comply with some law.


What folks? I haven't met or spoken a single soul who thinks we should be able to hide our online status by law.

 


Back to whether it's good or not:  I generally favor the idea that, on balance, it would likely be marginally better if there were an "appear offline" mode that really worked. The opposite position, however, is not without merit: Maybe it would be better if nobody could connect to SL without being available for social interaction -- that such interaction should be reinforced as the whole point of the platform.  I'm not convinced that would be better, but it's not really
wrong
, either.

Being forced to show online is better for whom? The person who didn't want to be disturbed or for the person who gets an "I don't want to be disturbed" IM? I can't imagine it is better for LL either. I can imagine some situations when someone doesn't want to be disturbed, for example when creating content or when looking for content to buy, both situations where LL only benefits when it's done as quickly and as often as possible.

 

 

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Coby Foden wrote:

I don't understand either why there is a need for avatar to be physically online for the invetory deliveries to work reliably. I'm sure that the asset database itself does not require it. Surely it can drop items to avatar whether the avatar is online or not. Maybe the direct delivery function will be able to do the deliveries reliably whatever the avatar's online status is?

question.gif

 

Certainly the idea is that direct delivery should -- it doesn't at the moment -- reliably deliver items whatever your online status, though even if it can be made to work,  that doesn't provide anything like a remedy for all the use-cases that will be broken if DATA_ONLINE is borked.

I think the original reason for including inventory offers in the cap is that otherwise someone might decide it would be amusing to grief people by calling llGiveInventory on a loop when they were not there to mute the giving object, so people might log in one day to discover something had been sending them an item every 2 seconds for the last few hours or days.   That might still present problems -- I don't know.

 

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Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:


Qie Niangao wrote:

It's a good thing
only
to the extent that it makes Linden Lab more revenue because more people spend more time and money on the platform.  It's not in and of itself a good thing, nor is it remotely related to "privacy" as used in the internet-connected context.

No it's good because people should be able to do things inworld without being disturbed.

Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe SL would grow faster without people who want to do things without being disturbed. (I'm not making that claim; just extending the point that this isn't a "rights" issue, but rather a commercial choice.)


If you want to call this thing "privacy" because it matches abstract definitions in a broader, less on-point context, well, I can't stop you, but that usage here really dilutes this term (it sure ain't "privacy" of the sort that Arab Spring organizers needed from Twitter & Facebook, nor the kind that, if violated by yahoo, can send Chinese dissidents to re-education camp, nor even the kind that interferes with P&G knowing which soap I buy on Tuesdays).

Being able to do things without being disturbed either by friends who want to chat or by stalkers/griefers who want to harass someone, how is that watered-down? It's just another form of privacy. As I said before, LL changed the setting for a reason and as far as I know they never said it was for the privacy reasons you describe, that would be pretty stupid. I think we can also agree they didn't do it just to kill some time or just to upset a part of their customers. So why did they do it then? Very likely because of what I describe.

You think? Oz was very straightforward about viewer tags being "nobody else's business", and cited cases of newbie harassment about choice of viewers.  There's been no corresponding justification for the online status thing, especially not the current plan to make it impossible to share online status with other people's scripts, enforcing "privacy by solitary confinement."

But anyway, even if they back down from that insanity and just fix it so the preference does (more) what it says, it's almost offensive to call this thing "privacy" as if it could borrow some justification from the serious threats to personal liberties and even lives that are at stake with real online privacy issues. This thing is "privacy" exactly as llTeleportAgentHome() is homocide.


This watered-down usage even leads folks to the paranoid speculation that LL must do this to comply with some law.


What folks? I haven't met or spoken a single soul who thinks we should be able to hide our online status by law.

That's nice for you, but doesn't change that it's all over the blogs, people speculating that the "real" reason for LL doing this now is to comply with a new online privacy law they say is pending in the US Congress. (I did say "paranoid".)


Back to whether it's good or not:  I generally favor the idea that, on balance, it would likely be marginally better if there were an "appear offline" mode that really worked. The opposite position, however, is not without merit: Maybe it would be better if nobody could connect to SL without being available for social interaction -- that such interaction should be reinforced as the whole point of the platform.  I'm not convinced that would be better, but it's not really
wrong
, either.

Being forced to show online is better for whom? The person who didn't want to be disturbed or for the person who gets an "I don't want to be disturbed" IM? I can't imagine it is better for LL either. I can imagine some situations when someone doesn't want to be disturbed, for example when creating content or when looking for content to buy, both situations where LL only benefits when it's done as quickly and as often as possible.

 

 

Doesn't matter.  Mind you, this isn't my position, but the argument would be that the "show offline" feature has never worked, and there may be some set of tier-paying users whose Second Life is positively affected by the fact that it doesn't work.  Can we imagine a way that could be true?  Why, yes we can: some folks, unable to hide effectively, instead might be more social.  It might be a small effect in isolation, but for all we know, it might be what gives critical mass to SL's social interactions (which is ultimately why content is created and tier is paid).  We don't know.

We could take a risk and change that bit of "accidental community", if we think that doing so will have more positive impact than negative.  Maybe it will reduce drama, causing enough more people to participate in SL to offset the people lost by removing the old broken behavior.  Personally, I think that's pretty likely, but as business decisions go, it's not a slam-dunk, even if no development resources were needed.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

I think the original reason for including inventory offers in the cap is that otherwise someone might decide it would be amusing to grief people by calling llGiveInventory on a loop when they were not there to mute the giving object, so people might log in one day to discover something had been sending them an item every 2 seconds for the last few hours or days.   That might still present problems -- I don't know.

That would be terrible!  To stop that happening maybe there would be a way to create automatic check function "if item is already delivered to avatar's inventory (and if it surely exists there), don't accept any more deliveries of the same item".

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Qie Niangao wrote:

Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe SL would grow faster without people who want to do things without being disturbed. (I'm not making that claim; just extending the point that this isn't a "rights" issue, but rather a commercial choice.)

 

Why would SL grow faster when people have less control over how they appear online? I can't think of a single reason. Maybe you can?

 


You think? Oz was very straightforward about viewer tags being "nobody else's business", and cited cases of newbie harassment about choice of viewers.  There's been no corresponding justification for the online status thing, especially not the current plan to make it impossible to share online status with other people's scripts, enforcing "privacy by solitary confinement."

Exactly, so what I am saying is my best guess and it's plausible. I have seen a lot of requests for better inworld privacy, a lot of them linked to the llrequestagentdata. As I said earlier, what other reason could there be? As long as I don't hear a better explanation for the script being restricted, I tend to believe I'm right. Am I certain? No ofcourse not, not even if LL says I'm right.

 


But anyway, even if they back down from that insanity and just fix it so the preference does (more) what it says, it's almost offensive to call this thing "privacy" as if it could borrow some justification from the serious threats to personal liberties and even lives that are at stake with real online privacy issues. This thing is "privacy" exactly as llTeleportAgentHome() is homocide.

Ofcourse RL privacy in any form is far more important than SL privacy. But SL is a good part of a lot of peoples social life and social life is very much RL, whether that's in person or on a computersreen. So if people are being annoyed or even harassed inworld, that hinders their social life. That's not something to take lightly. Calling that "almost offensive" is offensive by itself if you ask me. I honestly can't say what will have a bigger impact on a person, the phychological damage of being stalked/harassed or the physical damage of having their identity exposed or even stolen. Both are very serious.

You can't compare a one time event like being teleported to a different location because the landowner doesn't want you around to being IMed by a person or script constantly which makes your SL a living hell.

btw I DO hope that was a typo at the end:)

 


That's nice for you, but doesn't change that it's all over the blogs, people speculating that the "real" reason for LL doing this now is to comply with a new online privacy law they say is pending in the US Congress. (I did say "paranoid".)

Maybe I read it wrong, the way I understood it those "paranoid" people were referring to the TPV changes. LL having more control over them makes it easier to prevent a next Emerald disaster. I wouldn't say those people are paranoid in the first place, just completely misinformed. If people do think LL is forced by law to give us the ability to hide our online status...they're a bit...erm..let's say silly.

 

 


Doesn't matter.  Mind you, this isn't my position, but the argument would be that the "show offline" feature has never worked, and there may be some set of tier-paying users whose Second Life is positively affected by the fact that it doesn't work.  Can we imagine a way that could be true?  Why, yes we can: some folks, unable to hide effectively, instead might be more social.  It might be a small effect in isolation, but for all we know, it might be what gives critical mass to SL's social interactions (which is ultimately why content is created and tier is paid).  We don't know.

The fact that it has never worked is no excuse for letting it stay that way, especially since people have been complaining about it for years. I'm not saying the way LL addressed the issue is the right way, I am saying it is good they are addressing it.

Being more social? Now that is the biggest nonsense I've heard so far if I understand what you are saying. Why would anyone want to be forced into being more social? SL isn't a phsychologists office with forced treatment the last time I checked. It's a virtual world where people can log in to do what they want to do. If they want to be social, they should be able to. When they want to have some peace when doing whatever they want to do in private, they should be able to do so. If someone actively hides themself, they obviously do not want to be seen or bothered. Who in their right mind would force social activities on them for "their own good"?

 


We could take a risk and change that bit of "accidental community", if we think that doing so will have more positive impact than negative.  Maybe it will reduce drama, causing enough more people to participate in SL to offset the people lost by removing the old broken behavior.  Personally, I think that's pretty likely, but as business decisions go, it's not a slam-dunk, even if no development resources were needed.

So again it's not the privacy issue, but the way LL tries to solve that issue that's the problem. I won't deny that. I'm not a coder, RL or inworld, but common sense tells me it should be possible to have a solution that respects privacy and makes both deliveries and online status boards possible.

 

 

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Doesn't matter.  Mind you, this isn't my position, but the argument would be that the "show offline" feature has never worked, and there may be some set of tier-paying users whose Second Life is positively affected by the fact that it doesn't work.  Can we imagine a way that could be true?  Why, yes we can: some folks, unable to hide effectively, instead might be more social.  It might be a small effect in isolation, but for all we know, it might be what gives critical mass to SL's social interactions (which is ultimately why content is created and tier is paid).  We don't know.

The fact that it has never worked is no excuse for letting it stay that way, especially since people have been complaining about it for years. I'm not saying the way LL addressed the issue is the right way, I am saying it is good they are addressing it.

Being more social? Now that is the biggest nonsense I've heard so far if I understand what you are saying. Why would anyone want to be forced into being more social? SL isn't a phsychologists office with forced treatment the last time I checked. It's a virtual world where people can log in to do what they want to do. If they want to be social, they should be able to. When they want to have some peace when doing whatever they want to do in private, they should be able to do so. If someone actively hides themself, they obviously do not want to be seen or bothered. Who in their right mind would force social activities on them for "their own good"?

Well, it's not necessarily for their own good. It may be that the platform only prospers by driving those people away from it completely.  Only thing is, those people shouldn't be here anyway because the platform has never supported that hiding. So, the question is whether suddenly making it possible to hide (slightly) more effectively will draw in more new "hiders" than it will drive away those whose participation is unknowingly dependent on "showing".

One way we might all depend on "showing" has been mentioned: the fact that being unable to completely hide actually exposes griefers.  Maybe if hiding were more effective there'd be much more griefing.  We don't actually know.

One step down from griefing and it's a familiar argument: Remember Google's original stance re: pseudonyms. Better participation through non-anonymity.  Now, I was a vehement opponent of that, but that's because real privacy is at stake there. It's arguable, however, that real names would foster more of a social, "small town" community feel in G+. Similarly, it may be that whatever remains of SL's friendly, welcoming, "small town" feel would be lost if stealth mode were suddenly to work.

Again, this isn't my position; I don't especially care whether online status can or can't be hidden as long as they don't break scripted content (as they currently plan to do). I do want to put the issue in the proper perspective: it's just a business decision about what features will lead to the most profitable interactive online community, and either way, that community isn't going to include everybody.

Invoking the term "privacy" loads the issue with all these seemingly self-evident truths that in fact simply don't apply.  It's probably a nice feature to have; maybe somebody should work on it eventually, when resources are available to do it properly.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

 

Well, it's not necessarily for
their
own good. It may be that the platform only prospers by driving those people away from it completely.  Only thing is, those people shouldn't be here anyway because the platform has never supported that hiding.

That would be a very valid arguement if it wasn't for the fact we do have the option to hide our online status. It just doesn't work very well.

 


One way we might all depend on "showing" has been mentioned: the fact that being unable to completely hide actually exposes griefers.  Maybe if hiding were more effective there'd be much more griefing.  We don't actually know.

Being hidden to all residents and all scripts is not the same as being hidden to LL. When griefed by a script or person, LL is able and always will be able to tell who caused it. In order to hide from LL you'll have to hide your IP address or hack into someone elses account for example. That's an entire ifferent level of hiding.

 


One step down from griefing and it's a familiar argument: Remember Google's original stance re: pseudonyms. Better participation through non-anonymity.  Now, I was a vehement opponent of that, but that's because real privacy
is
at stake there. It's
arguable
, however, that real names
would
foster more of a social, "small town" community feel in G+. Similarly, it may be that whatever remains of SL's friendly, welcoming, "small town" feel would be lost if stealth mode were suddenly to work.

That's all greek to me, or at least 99% of it. You're saying not being able to use an avatar name but participate to SL under your RL name? That sounds like a terrible idea, on just about any platform.

 


Again, this isn't my position; I don't especially care whether online status can or can't be hidden as long as they don't break scripted content (as they currently plan to do). I
do
want to put the issue in the proper perspective: it's just a business decision about what features will lead to the most profitable interactive online community, and either way, that community isn't going to include everybody.

Invoking the term "privacy" loads the issue with all these seemingly self-evident truths that in fact simply don't apply.  It's probably a nice feature to have; maybe somebody should work on it eventually, when resources are available to do it properly.

I think we're not exactly, but pretty much on the same page here. So the best solution would be to have, as I have said a couple of times already, both better inworld privacy and the ability to deliver content and have working online status boards. If that includes people having to rewrite scripts, that's the way it is, as long as LL offers a working solution.

 

 

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