Linden Lab has bowed to the wave of public anger and explicitly banned the alt outing functionality in RedZone:
Residents are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy with regard to their Second Life experience. Sharing personal information about your fellow Residents without their consent — including gender, religion, age, marital status, race, sexual preference, alternate account names, and real-world location beyond what is provided by them in their Resident profile — is not allowed. Remotely monitoring conversations in Second Life, posting conversation logs, or sharing conversation logs without the participants’ consent are all prohibited.
That is clear enough. RedZone may no longer be used to share alt information or other personal information.
Note that Linden Labs also agree here that this constitutes personal information, which, as you know, continues to make the redZone database illegal in Europe. But hey, this is huge progress, because as expected (see my last post), zFire has had to adapt his spyware to avoid a permanent ban. Here is zFire’s announcement:
Hello RedZone owners.
After talking with Linden Labs over the past month we have reached an agreement.
Effective now and retroactively the RedZone system will request Consent to display alt name information.
LL policy will reflect this change by tomorrow the 25th.
The zRZ HUD will now request consent much like a bloodlines bite.
The zRZ Website now offers a system to send an IM to request consent for a zF RedZone Alt Background check.
The system is already in place, new functions and consent methods will be offered as we discover how best to implement this feature.
Linden Labs has been good enough to suggest many ideas that settled on this one.
Alt names can still be viewed to settle disputes, run security background checks etc. (With Consent)
Please see http://isellsl.ath.cx/checkconsentinfo.php for more.
The RedZone system has been, and always will be current with SecondLife(tm) terms of service.
I would like to thank Linden Labs for working with RedZone and providing enough time for RedZone to make these changes.
PS: Everything is still logged as before, everything still works as before.
Only now to view the alts you need consent.
Alts are still banable if they are related to a new user you do not want on your land.
Alts of people you banned are still banned, alts of copybots are still banned, alts of anyone you have banned are still going to be banned, just not named.
So yes, RedZone has been neutered. It no longer will share all your alts without your consent (and, as one disgruntled spyware user says – who is going to give consent?) The reason people were really buying it has gone.
We know it is crap for security. It does not detect copybots, it is filled with incorrect information, and with media off its really just another (very expensive) security orb. We can hope that it will go and quietly die now.
But please note the chilling PS in ZFire’s message. It still illegally and silently scans people without consent. It still collects your data. Just because basement guy is not allowed to share it, does not mean he won’t share it with a few good friends. Nor is he entitled to collect it.
But despite this, today feels like a very good day.
Some choice comments from the RedZone forums:
Good Lord, they WON? You’ll never hear the end of it
Well this is great as noone is going to give permission for people to view alts..i probably speak for many redzone users when i say that i have wasted money buying this product to protect myself from griefers now i cant …i think alot of people will ask for refunds,especially people who bought this product when he was in negotiations with LL
Don’t worry…he only sold one or two units maximum in that time.