Sunday, August 19, 2007

All Your Privacy Are Belong to Us

Excerpt From SL Universe website regarding IP addresses and security on the official "Privacy Policy" Page Updated last on 5/29/2005 (all emphasis and bolding quoted from 3rd party sites added by Mulch).

For each visitor to our Web page, our Web server automatically recognizes only the consumer's domain name, but not the e-mail address (where possible).

We collect only the domain name, but not the e-mail address of visitors to our Web page, aggregate information on what pages consumers access or visit, information volunteered by the consumer, such as survey information and/or site registrations.

The information we collect is not shared with other organizations for any purpose.


With respect to security: ... We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse or alteration of information that we have collected from you at our site.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us at the above email address addresses, the Federal Trade Commission by phone at 202.FTC-HELP (202.382.4357) or electronically at

Now let me make this perfectly clear... this was not a hack... this information was available to anyone who visited the site and nothing special was done to bypass any securtiy feature.

As a matter of fact, I remember Sansarya mentioned this to the Owner of the site on the forums, and was yelled at by the owner and he denied the entire thing. Sadly, I also told Sansarya that she was wrong and was prolly just remembering that Prokofy got paranoid and went on and on about the misuse of personal information at the SL Universe site.

Well it looks like I owe 2 people an apology... Sans, I apologize that I didn't believe you when you told me, and furthermore, told you that you were wrong in teh forums. I sincerely apologize for my error.

Prokofy, I also owe you an apology. I figured you as a loon, but damn if you didn't nail this one on the head. I am truly sorry I didn't pay more attention when you were waving the warning flag.

Now, I think another person owes some people some apologies... Hopefully he will make it up to Sansarya directly and very publicly for alerting him to this considering how he publicly reamed her for alerting him to this... but I think there are more apologies, especially since this was known (or should have been) based on repeated reports from at least Sansarya.

The people whose IP addresses he exposed... I suppose you will have to ask for an explanation yourself. In case of some breach or some act of God, I think he would be obligated to acknowledge and explain it (as well as to apologize to those who tried to tell him only to get scolded for it), but apparently he thinks different.

Considering admissions of exchanging/comparing IP info prior to this made by the site admin at SLU, perhaps this should draw a bit more attention as to what "a further strengthening of the relationship between the two sites" means in broader terms... especially considering who passed information regarding me that supposedly shut down the site directly to be posted at SLU... it's your info and privacy people...

and while we are reading privacy policy of various sites, i came across a discussion about privacy that was written at another SL related forum... let's take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?:

The deal is this:

The information I get from you guys. IP #'s, Email, and whatever other information you provide me, is covered by the Privacy policy here. I made a big issue about the IP specifically because that's the one piece of information you have to hand over to the forums. It's built into the software. Everything else is optional as far as accuracy goes.

You can use fake emails, fake names, fake information in your profile, etc. But the IP is the one thing that is given to vBulletin that is more or less true. Therefore, I do not publish that information. There is an option for publishing IP #'s on a per post basis that the vBulletin provides, but I turned it off. It would mean everyone could see your #.

This is the only reason IP is a big deal here. Because you can't "choose" to not give it to the forums. It isn't optional, unlike your other info.

Now as for me not publishing IP but not being concerned with other info people post about you, it's as simple as this:

I have tried to make the rules here easygoing. I pass over the responsibility of your posts to you as an individual poster. I don't want to be a babysitter or a censor for anyone. Therefore it's up to you to decide how you want to conduct yourself here.

You have the ability to edit your own posts. I don't need to do that for anyone here. And I'm not going to censor people.

You are all responsible for your own words and activities. And I'm not about to tell anyone how they should function here.

On a personal level, speaking for myself only, I do not disclose information given to me that you do not want published. The IP is an exception. You don't have to tell me, "don't disclose that", I just don't do it by default.

If you were to email me with your real name, or address, or phone number, or picture, and you wanted that kept private, it would be.

Again, I am as responsible for my own posts here as you guys are individually.

You have been given the freedom to moderate yourselves. My morality begins and ends with myself. I'm not here to push my morals on anybody.

If I started removing information people other than myself published here, I might as well just set up the word censor and other features as well. What would be the point of coming here? I'd be offering no alternative to the forums you are already using.


I am not comfortable with complete disclosure of information, and like said before, I would do no such thing to somebody here myself. But the point of this place is not for me to step in and make sure everyone adheres to my personal standards. It's to give back some freedom to people to decide for themselves what is right or wrong in their eyes.

I do have concern about such information being published here. But it's up to the person posting to decide if that's appropriate or not, or whether they care.

I know that makes me look uncaring, but I'm far from that.

It's just important to me that I keep this place running like it was intended to be. And not start amending the rules.

I believe in this system, and am willing to stick with it.

I just wish people wouldn't assume I'm supporting activities here just because they are allowed to happen. If anyone wants to know how I feel about stuff on a personal level, then just ask specifically, and I'll tell you my opinion on it.

Excerpt from the Privacy Policy Originally posted and updated last as of 2/13/2006... unless I missed a new update at some time.

How does Second Citizen share that information?

I'm not the sharing type. At least not with private information like that. I don't sell your email addresses to spammers. I don't publish your IP addresses. If anyone asks for this information, they're not going to get it.

The ONLY exception here is if I'm issued a subpoena for a users information. By law I have to turn over information, but usually within a timeframe. And in that case, I would contact you ASAP. And while I'm not a lawyer, I know a good amount about this, and I would recommend you contact a lawyer and file a motion to quash their discovery of your information. In that case, if the motion to quash was accepted, I wouldn't have to turn over any information.

Sorry. I don't mean to freak anyone out. This is a very unlikely situation of course. I don't expect this to happen, and you shouldn't either.

Doesn't seem to jive with passing info that other members can't see to other forum hosts to openly post during the "further strengthening of the relationship between the two sites" that was discussed in last weeks Metaverse Messenger article.

I don't even think there is a line to read between at this point...




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