Uninvited camera probes

Last night I was standing outside my castle in Second Life, just goofing off, and I started to pan my camera to get some unique and bird’s-eye views of my personal property. Suddenly, the camera’s eye had made its way into a neighbor’s house! Nobody was home at the time, but I could see everything inside. I was an uninvited stranger, accidentally trespassing by proxy while my avatar stood innocently at a remote location, perhaps hundreds of square meters away.

I will never do it again, as I respect others’ right to privacy. And I emphasize: this was an accident. Nonetheless, I still find it kind of disturbing — the fact that someone could do the same to me, and spy on what goes on between my own virtual walls.

Why oh why is there not a feature created to prevent such a thing from happening? I think that at the very least, if you own land in Second Life you should be able to somehow block this type of privacy invasion. I mean, c’mon. We’ve sent robots to Mars. I would think that the technology is available.

For the sake of reference, here are the Disclosure standards from Second Life’s “Big Six” list of “Community Standards.”

“Residents are entitled to a reasonable level of privacy with regard to their Second Lives. Sharing personal information about a fellow Resident –including gender, religion, age, marital status, race, sexual preference, and real-world location beyond what is provided by the Resident in the First Life page of their Resident profile is a violation of that Resident’s privacy. Remotely monitoring conversations, posting conversation logs, or sharing conversation logs without consent are all prohibited in Second Life and on the Second Life Forums.”


  1. Comment by darkchyld on March 15, 2006 12:20 pm

    Cam spying is not nearly as annoying to me as TP stalking - where someone looks you up on the map and can TP in right next to you, or a few meters away to see what you are up to, eavesdrop, etc.

    There are a couple of nifty little tools that will help you keep an eye on these kinds of things. Remind me when we’re on together and I’ll give you a good one.


  2. Comment by Noche on March 15, 2006 4:19 pm

    Cool. One suggestion I received already is to get an avatar detector, which tells you if someone is lurking nearby.

  3. Comment by darkchyld on March 15, 2006 10:12 pm

    Yep, that’s what I was going to give you. Tells you who is around, and how far away they are.

    Also has some… personal protection features.

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