Legal/Ethical question regarding invasive 3rd party EVE platforms

(Thomas Tur Bando) #1

Legal/Moral question: As US congress is currently debating the legality of “shadow profiles” by Facebook and some other companies (infos about non FB users based on infos of their friends who use FB, any information they collect about your friends are extrapolated to you. See “Cambridge Analytica”). Will this change the debate regarding 3rd party EVE programs like zKill on a legal basis? Would it change the dialogue on a moral basis if public sentiment shifts towards shadow profiles being unethical? As most of you know zkill puts people’s information out to the public even if they chose to not participate on zkill. It is extremely similar to what FB does irl that is under congressional investigation.

I’m aware that the old consensus regarding 3rd parties like ZKill has always been laissez faire, but the laws may soon change as a result of their scandals. And perhaps our ethical expectations as well. Remember, we don’t currently have an ethical opinion of shadow profiling only because it’s relatively new and hasn’t been brought to light. But now that it has, a new ethical attitude towards it must be decided. Personally, I think it’s wrong for FB to hand out my personal info to a 3rd party just because my friend consented. It’s the exact same with ZKill, but even worse because the one who posts your kill mail isn’t even your friend.

For the record, as of today ZKill’s FAQ explicitly says they do not care if you do not consent to publishing of your information, nor do they care if you participated on Zkill or not (such as posting your own kills). Thus, as of today they are openly admitting something that, should the laws change, be immediately illegal and guilty.

One last thing I’m sure I’ll get in the comment is that CCP is based in iceland but US laws don’t apply. Well… in similar situations US has issued ultimatums to such companies: Change your rules or you’re not allowed to operate in the US. If the laws do change, CCP will be faced with a decision to either ban Zkill or be forced to lose their entire US player base due to government regulations.

zKilloard. Is this legal?
(Netan MalDoran) #2

I’m pretty sure that you sign away all rights to your personal info when you sign the EULA.
EDIT: I said personal info when I meant in-game info.

(Thomas Tur Bando) #3

@Netan MalDoran
I want to draw your attention to this. Once it becomes illegal, if it does, what you said would change.

(zluq zabaa) #4

I’m not sure that this would count for online personae. It seems the issue with shadow profiles is discussed mostly around the exposure of private information linked to a real person. A char in a video game might not be granted the same protection under the law I suppose.

(ISD Sakimura) #5

No you do not, If CCP (or PA) misuse your personal information you can file lawsuit like you can with any other company. All companies that you give your personal data to is required by law to protect it.

Zkillboard does not in anyway get hold of your personal information, all they collect are information about your activities in EVE; Kills, Losses and statistics there of.

(Foggy Bernstein) #6

If you haven’t been lying about your real identity when online since the beginning of the internet, you are screwed.

Accept it and move on with your (wide open to anyone mildly curious) life.

(Thomas Tur Bando) #7

You know, I can’t even argue that there isn’t any. Zkill has recently added a feature where it shows when you are on and active. They have a systematic “heat map” that will track your 30 day activity. Seems already borderline real personal information with just that alone.

(ISD Sakimura) #9

Maybe you should explain what you (they) define as “Shadow profiling”?

(Thomas Tur Bando) #10

Ok, I might go into details later I’ll have to look back some of the stuff I’ve read about the legal issues with Cambridge Analytica. I recall there’s has been precise legal language definitions of shadow profiling that I’ll try to find later.

To the best of my memory reading the legal stuff it sounds something like this.

A public platform can not have a profile of you without you participating on that platform.

(ISD Sakimura) #11

The whole issue with Facebook and Camebridge Analytica; was that Facebook shared (sold?) user data to CA that then used all that data to help politicians and/or any other company/person that want to make personally targeted advertisements to people, on FB among other things. Basically they could influence people to vote for a certain ideology.

This is why I have never use the Facebook Messenger app (for Android), it requires access to almost everything on my phone (which I refuse to give).

(Thomas Tur Bando) #12

FB didn’t “sell” CA anything. CA used a survey to target a small group of people who consented to giving that info away… and also consented to give away their friends’ basic info (Your friends have access to your basic info FYI). CA then used that info to build shadow profiles of a much larger audience now, using algorithms to find who might be profitable to target politically, and targeted those individuals politically outside of FB platform at this point.

So FB got in trouble for this, but during the congressional hearings this escalated to a bigger problem with shadow profiles because the congressmen also wanted to hold FB accountable for shadow profiling themselves, which they admit they did. After the hearing, the conclusion was “We’ll need to start passing regulations on the issues discussed (including shadow profiling)”, which, Zuckelberg agreed he would comply.

There’s another issue bought up during the congressional hearings regarding whether platforms are mediums of speech or initiators of speech. I.E. do platforms who make their own speech lose their neutral platform status. In this regard I feel like ZKillboard also seems to be getting a little iffy on something… But that’s for another day, if ever. I’ll just focus on addressing Zkill’s shadow profiling issue for now.

(ISD Sakimura) #13

I don’t think you can compare the two. Zkillboard does not “profile” you IRL like FB and CA do/did, they just profile your virtual characters. The only data they have access to is what is provided through the Kills and Losses they can pull via API (not sure what else they may get), maybe they can see some pattern of when you are online or not, I very much doubt they can get any personal information about your private life IRL unless you actively give it to them.

(Noragen Neirfallas) #14

Hi your eve character is not you. I hope this clears things up for you. Be sure not to blur the 2

(Netan MalDoran) #15

Ah, yeah I meant ingame info, not personal info.

(Salvos Rhoska) #16

Neither are fake/front FB accounts, either on a personal or group/company/org basis.

Arguably even legit FB accounts are not “you”, they are just a virtual profile.

The invasiveness of 3rd party platforms operating with EVE data must be watched and questioned, in everyone’s interest.

On a tangent, Im bombed by EVE advertising online already.

(Hipqo) #17

Why does laws that protect your real life personal information on a social media, have anything to do with your virtual, self invented information in a game?

Not to mention killmails are 100% public information, 24/7, 365 days a year. Theres nothing you can possibly do to hide a killmail. Its as public as a public adress is in real life, but it holds absolutely zero actual personal infomation, what so ever. Its simply virtual infomation of a virtual character that you invented.

(Salvos Rhoska) #18

That is a very complicated issue, and only in its infancy in jurisprudence.
That and other related issues are probably one of the most important issues of our time as we increasingly step into an information age.

Believe me, from a legal perspective it is anything but “simple”, even if you as a layman perceive it as such.

(Hipqo) #19

But it still isnt personal information what so ever. Theres a very clear difference. You invented the information you have on your char in eve, its not real, its what ever you want it to be. This information if being displayed on a site, that has public acces to the information from the game developer, again no personal information what so ever is being shared and you agreed to this sharing when you signed the EULA (you have to, because of ESI)

You are mixing things up alot here. You having an online character (which you dont own btw, everything is owned by CCP, you basically “rent” this character) cannot be put into the same category as actual personal real life properties.

Facebook has to keep to very stricks laws and guidelines, exactly because they are handling a ton of actual personal real life information. Thats where the key difference is here. CCP doesnt do that at all. They have your credit card info, thats about it and that is in no way, shape or form ever handed out to anyone, because laws.

If this was second life, you would have a point, but this is eve and RMT is illegal, so nobody has a claim on anything but CCP.

(Salvos Rhoska) #20

That has not been determined.
The clear difference is in your laymans common-sense, but the issue is quadratically complicated by existing laws/precedent struggling, at its glacial pace, to keep up with modern developments in all manner of directions/format in this field.

(Hipqo) #21

Please link the where Zkill uses actual real life information that could be used to hurt people? Because that doesnt exist mate.
You are grasping at straws here.