The 6th item of Canary’s list of anxieties is about privacy in Project Sansar®. Will we have privacy in Sansar? A separation between our in-world persona and our RL identity?
For the list see: Are Second Life residents anxious about Project Sansar? For an answer on privacy read on.
The answer to whether we will have privacy in Project Sansar® is yes and no, at least from what has been revealed so far. It will be a bit like it is in Second Life™ but, different.
Sansar is going to have a slightly different account style. We have been told there will be a base account. We will need RL ID and financial information for the account, if we plan to move money and upload content. Government protections on money laundering and terrorist funds require the Lab have RL information for anyone receiving money. But, to jump into sansar and visit with a minimum of abilities it appears we will need to provide very little personal information.
The indication is the more real life identity information provided the more abilities we will have. The ability to login and visit places without a hassle is a goal of the Lab. They know that the SL signup process has been an obstacle for Second Life. For Sansar they are saying the plan is to make it as hassle free as possible. Maybe when the Sansar viewer version that is just a web browser plugin is available one can arrive at an in-world location as easily as we land on a web page now. No sign up needed.
At some point the WordPress analogy comes into play. Anyone can read my WordPress blog. But, to comment, I need some ID info to reduce my spam load. I don’t generally have other authors making posts. But, I would want more ID before allowing an author to post here. If I were selling products from this site, I would require even more. I think that analogy works well for the idea of Sansar privacy.
Within that Sansar account we can have multiple avatars and the avatar names do NOT have to be obviously related to the base account name. We have been told we can change avatars on the fly, meaning no need to log out and in to change personas. So, if a cute guy gets pissed at me I can change avatars and be nicer… naw. I’m never nicer.
I am so hopping for last names in Sansar.
Other users will be able to know as much about us as we allow them to know. Or so Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab CEO, has been telling us. I think this means we will have privacy controls we can control. But, he hasn’t been telling us exactly how they will work. What I think we can safely assume is that it will be easy for the Lab to know which avatars belong to which accounts and who those people are. But, other users won’t be able to know without a court order. So, I can keep my kinky lifestyle.
We have also been told we can connect our Second Life and Sansar accounts. It may be that once Sansar is live we will think of having a Linden Lab account. Within that account we will have SL, Sansar, and maybe other Linden game accounts… Blocksworld?
A big point made by Ebbe is that they plan to allow us to move L$ between SL and Sansar. That means a booming business in SL could use their funds for a start up in Sansar.
Also, our Sansar inventory would be available to ALL our Sansar avatars. In SL I have a couple of poor sister avatars. One is still wearing the Library starter avatar clothes. I wouldn’t face that problem in Sansar. My inventory would be connected to my base account, so I would only have one inventory no matter how many avatars I have in Sansar.
How fool proof will the privacy security be? If this is your worry, I think it is well founded. We see companies and governments being hacked all the time. I would not be surprised to find that the Lab has been hacked some day. But, I am sure the Lab understands the need for privacy and will do what it knows and can to keep personal data secure.
That doesn’t mean it is going to be absolutely secure. So, if your virtual lifestyle is so kinky you can’t tolerate any possibility of a leak… you best leave any virtual world you inhabit now. No online account is ever going to be perfectly secure.
For all practical purposes it looks like we will have about the same level of privacy in Sansar as we do in Second Life. If all of Sansar is actually better, account security and privacy should be too.