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Feldspar Millgrove

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Posts posted by Feldspar Millgrove

  1. Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

     However, IP addresses are not considered personal information.....it's public and easily collected.

    ....just as IP addresses can tell anyone who finds such information about the broad area of the region you live in (and if you share that region with others......and IP's are not unigue identifiers)

    IP addresses used to not be "personal information", because only your ISP (phone/cable company) could tie an IP address to your address. (Because they know who and where they provided that IP address for service.)

    But nowadays, there are third-party databases that can tie an IP address to a physical location to within a block or two, or sometimes exactly to an address. The precision depends on where you live. Some places, it's like the old days (say, 4 years ago) -- can only get to within a radius of about 15 miles, which in my case could be more than 50,000 different people. But sometimes it can nail your exact location. I live in a suburb of a major city, and I have seen people geolocate my exact home street address from only my IP address.

    You give up your IP address every time you visit a web page (in or out of SL), listen to streaming music or video in SL (or even just step onto a parcel that offers it, unless you have sounds/media disabled in your viewer).


  2. chou101 wrote:

    I would not be surprised if LL turns secondlife into a pay to play thing because of creepy griefers, hackers and stalkers. 

    Is there any reason to believe that there are more than just a few griefers these days?

    I bet 99% of SL residents never come into contact with a griefer, outside of the "Welcome" areas.

    (And the Welcome areas are depricated now, in favor of Destinations.   And Destinations have a real-life person covering them to solve any griefer problems immediately.  Or so the theory goes.)


  3. Gadget Portal wrote:

    Using the script function llDie(); to remove purchased content from your customer's posession after they paid you is fraud, by the legal definition.


    How do you get that?

    I don't know anything about Meeroos, but it sounds like what you are buying is a license to play a game, and the temporary use of some supplies.  Their ads say that if you don't play correctly, you will be booted out and forfeit your money.  (Your Meeroo can "run away" and only chooses to stay with you if you are playing according to all the rules, which includes rules about how you can use their game forums and such.  And especially, that they can boot you and take your Meeroo away any time they want.

    Since they are up front about the whole thing, and you agreed to the contract, where are you getting "fraud" from?

  4. I forgot to mention in the above...    Linden Lab has a permanent record of everything that happens inside SL.  This includes not only chat (including "private" instant messages, messages chatted to a script over a channel, etc.), but also all the actions you take.  Where you go.  How long you are there.  What you see. Everything you touch (including a "survey" device), etc.  Very detailed.

    Linden Lab's data retention policy is ambiguous; it has sometimes been advertised as being limited to a few months.  But from personal communication with former executives at the company, I know that while they were saying that, they were "keeping everything we've ever collected".   That was a while back, but it suggests to me that you cannot rely on their policies.

    But the main point about that is that Linden Lab is potentially handling private data from your survey: they are the platform you have selected.  And yet they are not neutral and have no agreement with RTI to protect the information, regardless of RTI's privacy policies in this survey.   LL collects detailed data, which they consider to be theirs, not RTI's nor the participants.  They are probably incapable of protecting it, even if they wanted to (which, in this context, they do not want to).

    So an additional factor is how you ensure that while using SL, Linden Lab does not automatically capture any of the private information that you get people to disclose (them thinking that only RTI is getting it).  I would like to hear your technical and policy analysis of this, in addition to the questions I asked in my previous message.

    Very curiously yours.


  5. I think this is a cool project and would like to learn more about it.

    "This survey will be coordinated in Second Life" and "the questions asked are about your real life".

    Many (most?) people on SL do not want to link their avatar and their real-life information.

    RTI's computer systems will apparently be collecting personally identifying information, including at least the following: avatar name, real life medical conditions; possibly also name or email address, and possibly IP address (inside SL and/or your web site).

    I am curious about the steps you are taking to protect privacy, including policies, and technical steps, especially regarding the part that is done in Second Life.

    Besides the many things that are under RTI's control, there seem to be third-party issues.

    1. For example, while one might imagine that avatar names are used for anonymity, they are of course linked within the LL customer database, which is not under your control, and which could be disclosed. (And there have been customer database breaches at Linden Labs in the past.) Also, people's avatar-to-real-life identity can be disclosed in many other ways, within and outside of SL, by third parties. Finally, people may not be expected to keep their avatar's identity secret forever, mistakenly thinking or forgetting that they used it for such purposes as your medical survey.

    2. Also, certain avatar-to-real-life information is (unknowingly to most people) are collected and correlated without real consent all over SL. (This is through IP addresses on audio/media/streaming logging; it used to be that IP addresses were not very useful location information. But nowadays they are much more useful, especially if combined with other data.)

    One assumes you are doing some kind of participant anonymizing.

    Are you treating avatar names like real names?

    What are the privacy features of your protocols to account for inadvertent collection by your systems, and by the way SL operates (e.g. nearby chat, possible "bugging" scripts, HTTP proxy operations through Linden Lab's servers, etc. etc.), and third-party breach correlation possibility?

    Ethically, participants in your survey cannot be considered competent to give consent for the collection and use of their information: they're not going to understand their Second Life / real-life PII or any the implications. How do you address this?

    I assume you must already have an understanding and a plan for, since this is a survey that is purporting to "to test the ability of researchers to collect health-related data from residents in Second Life."

    I might like to take your survey. I am curious about privacy in the entire chain of collection, handling, analysis, and data retention phases. First I would like to hear your response to the above. I would like to review the ethics and data handling portion of your IRB materials.

  6. I clicked on the Linden Realms Portal from the Destinations guide, and landed on a platform that looked just like the old Help Island platform.   However, I was trapped -- stuck flailing in the air.  Below me was some avatar that had gone Away.  I could not move, and it being a No-Fly zone, could not fly off the spot either.  It was a no-script area, and all my HUDs stopped working.  After about four minutes of flailing and not being able to do anything about it, I TP'd back home.   From what I could see before I left, there were about a half dozen other avatars on the landing platform.   Didn't have any trouble in my home sim.

    No idea what it's supposed to be.  Won't be going back, though.


  7. To answer your questions about Tiny Empires:

    1. It costs a few hundred L$ to purchase the HUD, but then there are no other charges.  (There's also a free version of the HUD to get you started that lets you play up to a certain point in the game, then you can buy the regular HUD and continue from there if you want.)

    2. The benefits are that people think it's a fun game.  The players tend to socialize.  As they recruit more people and answer more puzzles and get more points, they get a feeling of accomplishment.  (There are some emerging theories of how this kind of thing affects the human brain.)  There is no other benefit of any kind whatsoever; just an addictive timesink.


    The OP here is not wanting anything to do with bots, or scamming people, or anything like that.  He just wants people to join him in the game so that he can get more points.  Maybe he wants to be friends with them.  Normally you badger everyone you know to play with you, and for them in turn to recruit their friends, too.  He is probably a newbie on SL and doesn't know anybody, so he figured he'd try asking here.  Kind of not totally clear on the concept :)


    You can go to http://tinyempires.com/standings/ and type in anyone's name to see if they have the HUD, and who  is in their kingdom.




  8. Bots don't play Tiny Empires.  So, you're saying that you found some bots somewhere, and you spoke to someone controlling them, and they claimed they were playing Tiny Empires?  That does not make sense.

    Where were these bots?  Why did you go there? How do you know they were bots?  How did you talk to them?  What exactly did you ask them and what did they say?  And what do you think they were doing?

    The results of SEARCH used to be biased towards places that had "traffic", but LL changed the way that works so that it doesn't really figure into it any more.  LL also instituted some rules for bots.  What part of the rules do you think the bots were violating?

    Bots don't play Tiny Empires.  It would be (a little) difficult to program a bot to operate the HUD and play the game, especially since the game has bot-detection countermeasures built into it.   If bots are really playing, please report them by name to the Tiny Empires creator, so he can ban them.

    I've watched people play Tiny Empires (over their shoulder) a lot, and lord knows they've tried to get me to join in.  I can answer a lot of questions about it!   (Unfortunately, LOL...)

  9. Tiny Empires is a game of recruiting people to be in your kingdom.   The game consists solely of various points ("acres", "gold", etc.) on a scoring HUD that you wear.  (The game does not take place in SL, really.  There are no kingdoms or castles or jousting going on in SL -- it's just make-believe messages that come across the HUD.  There is no land or L$ or anything like that.)  The point of the game is that it is an excuse to meet people. There is no other reward.

    The OP wants to recruit more people into his kingdom, thereby getting more points.


    (The "built-in friends" someone mentioned above would be the people who recruited you -- you are part of a kingdom of other players.   Each kingdom usually has an SL Group that they can chat on.)

  10. Performance has gone to hell in the most recent Viewer update; it seems about 3 or 4 times more laggy.  I'm on a Mac Mini, and things were great until I installed the latest version.   (Actually the problem might have started a version or two ago, I wasn't paying attention as much as I should have, just trusting that the latest "latest version" would be better.   But something has definitely happened, and it seems permanently messed up now.   A few months ago things were fine.

    I am also seeing a lot of error messages on the system console log: "NP_Init called", "addCAFile attempting to read certs...", "No bp log location saved, using default", and some others that never appeared before.

  11. I've also noticed that some walls are not rezzing promptly; this is a recent problem that did not used to happen.   I don't think it's a problem on my end, especially since other people are seeing it.   It's probably something subtly broken in SL due to a client or server rollout.  It's been going on for more than a week.


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