Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Seond Life to Start Age Verification

Just after SLCC conference, I got this message from Linden:

Hello, Dera Kit.

As you may have heard, we're implementing the first stage of an Identity Verification system beginning with age. Our ultimate goal is to give Second Life Residents the opportunity to reveal as much or as little real life information about themselves as they like, and to have that information verified. We see this tool as critical to supporting Residents in shedding anonymity and building trust-based relationships -- but only to the extent that they're comfortable.

We've engaged the services of a third party provider, Aristotle's Integrity, who will match information that Residents provide with information available in public records. You will be asked to provide your name, geographic location, birthdate, and an ID that is specific to your country, for example the last four digits of your social security number if you're American. We will not be storing any information except for a code that tells us there was a positive match. Integrity will not keep any identifying information about you.

Age verification will initially be used as a way to limit access to restricted content within Second Life. Therefore, in order to enter any parcel or region which has been flagged as containing restricted content, i.e. sexual activity or extreme violence, age verification will be required to ensure only adults, or people over the age of 18, gain access. Verifying age will be voluntary, except in this context.

Prior to launching age verification throughout Second Life, we're hoping you, the concierge customers, will help us out by trying the process and letting us know about your experience -- if you were able to accurately verify your age, if the process itself is clear and understandable, and what problems you encountered. Please visit the Age Verification link available from the Your Account section of our website in the right sidebar and enter the requested information. This link is currently only available to concierge customers. When you are finished, you will be asked to take a short survey to fill us in on your experience.

For more information on Age Verification in Second Life, please visit the Second Life Blog.

Thank you very much for your help, and your continued support.

Linden Lab
Creators of Second Life
The process is pretty harmless -- but you do need to put in your own name, and some very concrete data. I'm not sure exactly how this process will work for more FUN avatars.