More on Identity Verification
Monday, May 7th, 2007 at 2:25 PM PDT by: daniellinden
The introduction of verified age and identity in Second Life is certainly a momentous change — though many of the comments posted to the announcement have been positive, and this type of verification has long been requested by business owners and content providers as the most direct way to improve trust and safety in Second Life, it’s clear that there are several points of concern that need to be addressed:
Age and identity verification will be completely voluntary. Residents who choose not to verify their identity will have access to all PG and M (Mature) rated regions of Second Life save for those individual parcels expressly identified by their creators as containing adult content. Adult content flags on the Mainland will be parcel-based, meaning that unverified accounts will be restricted only from the specific parcels containing adult material, not from Mature regions in general. ‘Adult Content’ is that which is overtly, graphically, or explicitly sexual in nature or intensely violent.
Linden Lab will not store any specific, identifying information. We’ll keep less exact information as a way to allow Residents, if they should so choose, to share verified aspects of their identity with others in Second Life — ie, not an exact date of birth, but an age (over 30) and not a specific address, but a city and country. Such sharing will, of course, be completely voluntary. Our verification provider will assess the consistency of the provided information and return a match code; at that point, a Resident becomes verified. The entire process takes less than two minutes, and will be available internationally. Our verification provider, Integrity Services, will only use information to provide a match code.
Age and identity verification fees will be assessed only once, at the point of verification — there will be no ongoing monthly or maintenance fees associated with verification. A mechanism will be provided to extend a successful verification to multiple accounts. Premium accounts will pay a very nominal fee; less than L$10, perhaps just $L1. Basic users will be able to access the service at a higher, though still one time, price.
Age and identity verification will replace ‘Payment Information’ in-world. Credit cards do not provide an adequate means of age and identity verification, making real and robust age and identity verification vital. Land owners will be free to allow or disallow access to their owned parcels based on this verified or unverified status.
Linden Lab is committed to enabling the safest and most enjoyable experience possible in Second Life. The introduction of age and identity provides Residents with new tools to determine how they interact with the world, how the content they create is accessed, and allow for a new level of trust within in-world relationships.