Bots and Privacy (Community)

Bots and Privacy // Community

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alex grigny de castro (xelag)

Jun 10, 2000, 8:05pm
Bots and Privacy

I am writing this short essay because I have noticed that even people
who are responsible for worlds and world hostings seem very confused
about the powers bots have, especially regarding privacy.

A bot can do many things better and faster that people using a browser.
In fact, bots can sometimes perceive and do things browsers can not do.
For example, a bot can detect when someont clicks on someone else, or
clicks or selects an object. A bot can also detect who is present
within its bot perception radius (the same radius that applies to

But there there things a bot can not do. Here is a list of things which
concern privacy:

1. A bot can not read whispers which are not addressed to it.

2. A bot can not retrieve IP numbers, unless its owner's citizen number
has eject powers or is Caretaker.

3. Because a bot can not put on privs, even if its owner gets special
powers by putting on privs, the bot does not get those powers. This
applies to all rights: eject, caretaker, public speaker etc.

4. A bot can not get the url of the object path of a world, unless it is

5. A bot can not get the object password even if it is Caretaker.

Bots can log conversations, just in the same way any browser can. Bots
can hide their identity just as a citizen/tourist can, by not speaking.
These two abilities of bots and people are controversial: why should a
browser or a bot log what I say? Well, since browsers can do that, why
not bots?

More annoying is the fact that some people in public places do not wish
to reveal themselves or their names. They may be logging what I say,
but I do not know who they are. In fact, it could be people I do not
wish to see or have near me. That, I feel, is a greater infringement on
my rights of privacy than anything a bot can do.

I saw today, in a world that allows all bots, a notice at GZ forbidding
bots in that area for reasons of privacy. The penalty: ejection on
detection. I have added that world to the file that prevents my bots
from entering GZ, but still wonder what sort of reason drives a world
owner to allow all bots, but use the argument of privacy for certain
areas. Any person or bot that misbehaves can be warned and ejected, but
using the reason of privacy to ban bots seems to me to rely on


walter knupe

Jun 11, 2000, 7:46pm
[View Quote] This is exaclty why bots disturb privacy: They see names of people who did not speak yet even
without special rights. All you need to do is bring a bot along and noone can hide.

I am not sure if i like this hiding or not, but the feature that names are hidden until someone
speaks is valued by many ppl and bots circumvent it.


john viper

Jun 12, 2000, 11:28am
If AWCOM took this feature out... and replaced it with a check box somewhere that said "Privacy
Mode", things would work a lot better. If the box were unchecked, you name would be atop of your
head no matter where you go. Everybody (including bots) could see you.

If this feature were checked (activated), your name would NOT be on your head, it would be handled
in an ICQ way in which if you speak it is disbaled and if you whisper to someone only THEY know you
are there) your green check would be disabled. The ONLY people that could see you are caretakers
and bots that are under the caretaker's name. It would really solve a lot of problems, and there
would be no more privacy infringement.

Thats my $0.02
John Viper <-- Coming Soon!
[View Quote]

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