Monday, March 23, 2009


A few words on issues of privacy in the context of virtual worlds with an excellent comparison to the prison.

The essential irony of virtual worlds is that populations seeking to build new lives away from the public eye are moving into an environment that is subject to constant surveillance. Virtual worlds currently operate like Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon prison. The Panopticon permitted a single guard in the center of the prison to monitor all of the prisoners. The same degree of surveillance exists in virtual worlds. The denizens of virtual worlds are constantly under surveillance by “game gods,” the private companies that design, maintain, and administer virtual worlds. The game gods then must comply with government requests for call details, wiretaps, stored chatlogs, and other business records. The result: game gods’ cameras are on all the time and the footage reaches law enforcement and the intelligence community.

Written by Joshua Fairfield, Escape into the Panopticon: Virtual Worlds and the Surveillance Society, 118 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 131 (2009),

2 komentarze:

Tanee Almendros March 7, 2010 at 8:02 AM  

I have several doubts about legal matters in Metaverse. One of them is about the use of VOICE in SECOND LIFE. If someone records my voice on Second Life without my authorization and expose my identity to thirds in the Metaverse or in the real world, it's a violation of Law? There's a difference if that person records my voice in general or in private voice chat?

Thanks in advance


Lincoln Beck March 27, 2010 at 8:10 PM  


1. Exposing someones Secon Life identity to the third party would be definitely a violation of Second Life's Terms of Service.

2. As far as I am concerned the problem will not be just recording but "sharing" (or making public available) someone voice.

Both of this issues could be solved very different depend on the country and the nationality of the people involved.

Apologize for the delay in answering.



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