Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=963889
 


 



Privacy and Data Collection in Virtual Worlds


Tal Zarsky


University of Haifa - Faculty of Law


STATE OF PLAY - LAW, GAMES AND VIRTUAL WORLDS, Jack M. Balkin and Beth Simone Noveck, eds., NYU Press, 2006

Abstract:     
The purpose of this chapter is to explain that virtual worlds generate special and specific privacy concerns. It does so by first explaining that in this setting, players not only strive to keep their online identities and activities secret in the real world, but try and keep their real-world identities hidden in their online communities, where they constructed reputations over time. It then addresses three sources for privacy concerns: the actions of government, other users and the game controllers. In virtual worlds, governments can engage in ongoing surveillance at marginal costs. Other users can abuse players by "leaking" information from the virtual worlds to the real one, and vice versa. Finally, the game controllers are in a unique position to generate privacy concerns, as they are omnipresent and can therefore trace every action players carry out in the virtual world, as well as collate this information with data about the players' real-world identities. This allows them to create digital dossiers on players' preferences much more efficiently than in other internet settings. Thereafter, the game controllers can use these dossiers in ways detrimental to users.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 6

Keywords: Information Privacy, Virtual Worlds, Internet Law and Policy, Online Advertising, Data Mining, Direct Marketing

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K20, K29, K30, K39, K40, K49

Accepted Paper Series





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Date posted: February 20, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Zarsky, Tal, Privacy and Data Collection in Virtual Worlds. STATE OF PLAY - LAW, GAMES AND VIRTUAL WORLDS, Jack M. Balkin and Beth Simone Noveck, eds., NYU Press, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=963889

Contact Information

Tal Zarsky (Contact Author)
University of Haifa - Faculty of Law ( email )
Mount Carmel
Haifa, 31905
Israel
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