some details about the age verification

9 05 2007

Daniel LindenSo yesterday there was the office hour meeting with Robin and Daniel Linden where the topic of course was age verification.
The pointed out again that this verification process is nothing they need to do for Linden Lab but the purpose is only for the residents who maybe need to be sure about the people they interact with (esp. of course in the adult content genre).

Some points from that discussion I simply want to list:

  • Aristotle and Integrity are different divisions of a single company, but they are seperate. Aristotle has no access to data managed by Integrity. No one has access to the data Linden Lab send to Integrity
  • The data is never saved (as I understand it also not by Integrity). It’s matched only. Nothing can be sold, shared, or even viewed. This is “enshrined” in their contract, as Daniel put it.
  • Linden Lab is interested in seeing graphic and explicit content flagged…not ‘nude’ skins and the like. Ultimately, the community will decided what should and should not be flagged
  • Linden Lab examined many vendors and would like to provide more over time but Integrity offers the most flexible, fast, and reliable system and the only real global solution
  • Integrity has been doing this kind of work for major comanies for a long time, and everyone who has worked with them has raved
  • Examples of clients are most major movie studios, the largest online sex toy retailer and Budweiser
  • For verification it is in the international area probably generally National ID, driver’s license, or passport in place of the last four SSN digits. US-wise it’s the last 4 digits of the social security number.
  • 157 countries are supported
  • flagging will be per parcel, not per sim
  • Gender verification might also be possible but of course only voluntarily where people really want to state it. This is possible but not planned yet.
  • all verification is opt-in and voluntary.
  • it will be a one-time fee to do verification, for premium accounts it will be less or equal L$10,-, for basic accounts there is no price point yet defined.
  • about how content is flagged: “The community will express what it feels to be adult content both by using the abuse reporter and by simply speaking with their neighbors” (Daniel Linden)

So that basically have been the points discussed. For me one question remains though: What is the legal impact if I’d flag a parcel as adult and some minor gamed the system (which of course still is possible) and buys some adult content from me. Then her mother sues me. How safe am I?

Another question which just comes to mind is this: If a parcel is flagged as adult people of course still can cam in. They might even be able to use some vendor from the outside. I wonder if this is made impossible then (camming would be difficult of course).

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8 responses

9 05 2007
dandellion

I don’t get it. If community is to decide what should be flagged then the whole system is just pointless (not that it make any sense otherwise). “Simply speaking to neighbours” is not any valuable content labeling system.

11 05 2007
Jonathan

Amazing image Tao!! I hope you don’t mind my syndication – http://www.in8years.com Please let me know if it’s at all a problem. Keep up the amazing work! I’m a big fan!

12 05 2007
Donald

I don’t understand why residents have to foot the bill on this or why is there even a fee. There are websites that use Integrity for age verification for free.
Integrity states that the information that you give to them is checked through a data base for validity, but that’s not true. Case known that information was given falsely (made up name, zip code, date of birth) and still got verified as an adult. That being the case, enter what ever you wish…….it’s not checked to be valid.

13 05 2007
Anonymous

Hi,
worldofsl.com is great resource – thanks Tao! may I suggest to merge its list with the http://zoeconnolly.blogspot.com blogroll? it would be great if you and Zoe exchange URLs as soon as people give them to you, both the worldofsl.com RSS feed and the Zoe blogroll would be useful, up-to-date, resources.

Sorry for my #!@x?ing english.

14 05 2007
taotakashi

Donald, according to Daniel Linden they implement it in a different way.. That’s all he said as this also came up.. Who knows, maybe they use a different service and thus is why it will cost something.

Honestly I don’t mind the L$10,- or what it might cost but I wonder anyway if I really will need it as I am rarely in locations with adult content.

And I also think that they should define certain things as fixed to demand age verification. Esp. with that ongoing discussion around child pornography (at least here in germany).

Zoe, I will add it with the next bunch.

16 05 2007
Jasper

” The community” has very open and very narrow minded people… so what will be adult for one wont be for another.

I come from an openminded country, but i guess for many people the lines what will be adult will be very different.

For example in some countries homosexual love (holding hands etc) is considered offensive… Im gay.. will that mean i will be banned to the adult areas if enough people flag it as offensive when i tell a guy i love him?

17 05 2007
taotakashi

Good questions, I just can hope Linden Lab is aware of all those issues. Somebody even proposed to ban e.g. german people because some things are forbidden here which are allowed e.g. in the US. This might be an extreme standpoint but the main problem is probably more the field the uncertainty of which law needs to be used in which circumstances.

I wouldn’t think though that holding hands will be seen as adult by the Lindens. I still believe in them, you know😉

18 06 2007
anonymouse1

You still believe in them? The only thing I have faith in the Lindens to do is what helps the Lindens. They will do nothing, and I mean *nothing* unless it directly benefits them.

How many times have we seen them add new features that weren’t wanted or do things like this idiotic, draconian, invasive age verification that simply will not help matters. There is nothing, short of a retina scan and a pair of handcuffs that will ensure that the person on the other end is the person who has identified (perhaps I should cease giving them ideas).

In the US, LL is what is known as a “common carrier.” Common carriers are not liable for the actions of people using their service. If LL suddenly starts taking responsibility for everything that happens on the service, then they will become liable because they have set a precedent. They should have simply stated that they are not responsible for the actions of any particular resident and left it up to the German authorities to find an prosecute the people (assuming they are German citizens… if they aren’t Germany has no jurisdiction…. sorry).

LL’s development is very closely paralleling the the early days of the internet, since many of the same questions were raised at that time. But LL isn’t taking those lessons and applying them to it’s service.

When I signed up for SL I didn’t expect them to start “verifying my personal data.” It’s stupid and it’s just plain wrong to have LL be the arbiter of the truth…. the only thing that this verification should do is verify AGE, and that’s it…. I don’t want them allowing me to “share verified aspects of my identity.” Pfft. If I want to share who I really am with you, I’ll tell you in my first life tab. Additionally… you can be very sure that, if someone doesn’t “verify aspects of their identity.”

The fact of the matter is… the company doing it has had instances of lost/stolen data before…. I’m sure that identity thieves are just watering at the mouth. In spite of what your points say, I’ve seen discussions that indicate that Aristotle WILL keep identifying information on file for a year or longer for “auditing purposes.”

So, your information is not safe, it’s not private, it’s there for anyone in LL or Aristotle to look at.

Another point….

What happens when some more restrictive countries such as the UAE (United Arab Emerits) or other Muslim countries start to complain that the women on second life aren’t wearing burkas? Where does that leave LL then? They’ve already set a precedent by foolishly complying with German (yes, foolishly :P) laws *even though they are not subject to them* on what grounds, then, do they refuse to comply with another countries restrictive laws? (Answer: None, because they chopped of their own legs, legally, by setting a precedent.)

What ever happened to the days of letting me live my Second Life in peace without having to worry about all of this crap?

Naturally, someone is thinking “If you have nothing to hide, then why don’t you just do it.”

To borrow a line from a bad spy movie: “Anonymity is like a warm blanket…”

And they can have my anonymity when they pry it from my cold, dead, rotting, fetid, maggot filled inventory. Period.

Anony Mouse One (:P — catch me if you can)

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