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  Identity Confirmation Features Coming to ‘Second Life’  
Posted 2007-04-06 by Tony Walsh
Users of Second Life will be able to confirm aspects of each other's identities, such as age and legal jurisdiction, if plans announced by the virtual world's maker are implemented. "Hopefully, these features will help Residents as they conform to their own local laws," a Linden Lab rep wrote on the company blog.

No further details on the planned identity-confirmation features were revealed, such as when the plan might be enacted, or the full range of identity "aspects" made available for confirmation. Currently, Second Life users are able to hide from others aspects of their identity such as their real names, ages, or location, but are unable to hide whether or not they have supplied Linden Lab with billing information. Those users unwilling or unable to provide billing information to the company are known as "Unverified" users, and are subject to stigmatization by groups of Second Life residents. All members of Second Life "Main Grid" are ostensibly at least 18 years of age or older, although it's trivial for underage users to slip in. I suppose stricter entry requirements are pending.
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Comment posted by Secureplay
April 7, 2007 @ 1:20 pm
How are they going to do this? There are some products/services in the adult/online gambling industry that can give user location (not the same thing as identity) and approximate age information (usually with payments involved), however, it has no official legal standing (except a "best effort" certification) and, in the US, their is the COPPA law that can provide legally acceptable identification for children only. Credit cards are dodgy and, without payments, subject to well-known fraud problems.In China and Korea, there is a national standard, and requirement, for real online identity...

This is a hard problem.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
April 8, 2007 @ 9:36 am
Yup, I don't know how LL expects to carry this out except by outsourcing to a company like Sentry, which claims to offer online identity and background verification services. Sentry apparently provided (provides?) services for Naughty America: The Game.
Comment posted by Ace Albion
April 12, 2007 @ 7:20 am
I would have expected if anyone needed to be guaranteed of the age of people visiting their SL buisiness, then they should develop their own age verification systems, instead of relying on Linden Lab to nanny them and breach their other customers' privacy expectations.

So if I want to go to Big Dave's XXX Casino and he says I need to prove I'm over 18 or 21 or whatever, he can put a dialog to a registration page in his welcome hall.

Either that or Linden Lab only provide a simple yes/no response to a standard query "resident provided information states they are of legal age to partake in that activity in their place of residence".

There may be octogenarians happily living the second life of a young dancer who don't feel like being outed or ridiculed for it.
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