Getting personal? Or not

The Real ID cross server/game chat system ends up feeling pretty invasive. I would be okay if it contained some (but not all) of the features. For example, having your real life info would be okay, except that friends of your friends can see you. So, if you have a friend that doesn’t feel the same way about privacy as you do, they could invite the whole world and then the whole world can see you, and then you can see all those people, too. I would like to be able to do cross-game and cross-server communication. However, Blizzard needs to have a way where we don’t have to use our RL name & battle.net e-mail address to do it.

There are people I’ve met through playing this game that I would like to chat with (a lot of you are other bloggers or readers). However, I can’t trust people with my RL info (and my battle.net e-mail is substantially different from the e-mail I use for anything else here on my blog). Even for people who are basically acquaintances that I would trust with my RL info, I don’t necessarily trust all the friends of those acquaintances with my personal info.

I think it’s really sad that people don’t care about internet privacy anymore. Maybe I’m just behind the times. I think I can live with everything but the “see everyone else’s friends” feature. I trust my friends, but I don’t trust the friends of my friends. Maybe if you could mark yourself as hidden from that feature, I might appreciate the system a little more. It’s going to take a while before I really embrace the new feature.

The Real ID system is too personal, and it didn’t need to be so invasive. If they could cut back on the invasive nature of it, then I’d be much quicker to embrace it.

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18 Comments

  1. Posted May 14, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I agree, I guess I worry a little less about putting my RL name out there (I already do quite a bit), but I don’t want my battle.net account email out there. That’s my personal email that only people I know get to have, everybody else either gets my blogging email or my junk mail email. I think its a bit of a security risk for your wow account as well.

    I’ll be a happy with it if I can make it so they use my name Aoirselvar instead and that’s the only thing people see.

  2. Posted May 14, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I am not going to use this feature the way it is right now. I was so excited about it since many of my friends are on the opposing faction or have transferred etc. I am just not comfortable with my information being “out there” for anyone to see.

    I used to not be like this. I added many of my server mates to my Facebook and they knew my name/where I lived. Then, one 19 year old young fella decided to try an ruin my “reputation” because of some trash talking in-game. He took all the photos off my Facebook, put them in a collection on a free photo hosting site and mixed them in with faceless porn pics. He passed this out to people in game (many WAY underage) and said they were all me. While I had to laugh because the girls were obviously not me (younger and missing my tattoos). I reported this to Blizzard and sad to say they did nothing. You would think just the distribution of the porn to minors would be enough for at least a 3 day ban. He even had it posted in his guild info and MOTD. Then, through Facebook he found family members and real life friends and sent it to them as well. Sigh.

    So I’m a tad gunshy in revealing too much to too many.

  3. Posted May 14, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I agree. I like the idea of being able to talk to friends on other servers or on other factions, or talk to my guildmates if I decide to hop onto my Horde toon for a change of pace – BUT – I want a lot more control over it.

    Like, my understanding is it will show you as online no matter what character on your account you have logged into. Sometimes I log onto a character precisely because I want to get away from guild chat and such things. It should be character-based, and everything should be opt-in. I should be able to choose which toons are linked to the service, and I should be able to control exactly who sees me – i.e. friends only, or friends of friends, or everyone.

    I agree that in its current incarnation, I will probably not be using it.

  4. Lissanna
    Posted May 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    the amount of out-of-game harassment that happens to people is going to go up by a lot when our character’s name is associated with a RL name, especially once it’s linked to facebook for a lot of people.

  5. Glacey
    Posted May 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    As someone who was stalked in RL, and has seen female guildmates get harassed by others (they got kicked of course), there is no way I would allow people I don’t know or trust to see my real name. This is just setting people up for additional harrassment outside of game, like Lufitoom experienced, or worse.

    I have guildmates on my FB, yes. But not all of them. And I’d certainly never randomly add friends of friends – I’m not a dumb teen or Tila Tequilla, competing for how many “friends” I can ammass.

  6. Maor
    Posted May 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I have some people I’ll be using it with, and others I won’t. I don’t think that there’s a problem with the current implementation since it does what they want it to do. People just want to use it in more cases than it’s generally intended for. It’s meant to be used with people you trust that you don’t mind seeing you no matter where you are. There are some people in my guild who I wouldn’t mind talking to in other games and already know my real name, but I have no desire to have them have access to me no matter where I am, while there are others I have no problem with being able to contact me anywhere.

    The Friend of Friends thing is annoying, but while I do take steps to protect my privacy, getting my name isn’t going to mean much. An opt-out option for that particular feature would be handy though.

    As for the email itself, the email is not visible once you have added someone as a Real ID friend. In other words, you have to give someone your Battle.Net email for them to know it.

    The Facebook linking is completely option and is mostly just a “Let’s import your friends form Facebook!” rather than any sort of real integration (which wouldn’t work for me since my Facebook email is not the same as my Battle.Net email and I have no intention of linking the two in any way).

  7. Posted May 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Not big on the email thing. Though, I understand it. That is how MSN works.

    I would prefer handles, over real names. That is kind of stupid, really. Though, it is pretty easy with a minimum of work to equate an email address to a name.

  8. Verdus
    Posted May 15, 2010 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    I hadn’t heard about the friend-of-friend thing. I’d just thought it was sharing RL info with people you know RL. If it’s true that other people can expose my information without my explicit consent, that’s very troubling. I don’t remember seeing this in the official announcement. Do you have a link, or did I just miss it?

  9. Lissanna
    Posted May 15, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    http://us.battle.net/realid/faq.html

    “What is the “friends of friends” feature of Real ID?
    Similar to other social-networking platforms, when you click on one of your Real ID friends, you will be able to see the names of his or her other Real ID friends, even if you are not Real ID friends with those players yourself. If you happen to know someone on that list, you will be able to quickly send a Real ID friend request to that player. This feature is designed to make it easy to populate your Real ID friends list with people you might enjoy playing with.”

    And a couple other Q’s related to who can see what.

  10. Posted May 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    As you know via twitter, I am seriously disappointed out how the initial implementation is netting out. I was super excited about the cross-server/game friends list until I saw its lack of allowing us to have control over what of our private information is viewable to others and how the friending process works overall (why couldn’t they just put in my name and server for WoW to friend me?)

    I hope they consider the feedback from the community and make some tweaks to it.

  11. Nimizar
    Posted May 16, 2010 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    As far as the email address sharing thing goes, you don’t necessarily have to share it with people.

    If you have a mutual friend, then either of you can send a Real ID request without needing to exchange email addresses.

    In addition, you can send a request to someone that has trusted you with their email address without having to let them know yours.

    Personally, I expect Blizzard to start adding more privacy controls once they have the basic infrastructure up and running.

  12. Lissanna
    Posted May 16, 2010 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    they’re only likely to add in more privacy controls if people actually seem like they care.

  13. Nimizar
    Posted May 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    If Blizzard aren’t paying attention to the amount of heat Facebook is getting over privacy concerns when they’re in the process of building their own social networking tool… well, they wouldn’t be half as smart as I give them credit for being.

    But yes, I agree people should mention the privacy concerns with the initial RealID system to encourage Blizzard to add those extra options.

  14. Maor
    Posted May 16, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    The only one I have an issue with is the friend of friend. Everyone I would want to talk to across game already knows my name. An invisible would also be nice, but I don’t think it’s remotely needed for the system to work.

  15. Posted May 17, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    No e-mailaddress will ever be shown on friends lists etc, so the only thing you are talking about then is your name? Well you could just enter only ‘Lissanna’ at your real name and then there’s no problem at all…

  16. Lissanna
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    can’t change the name registered to your battle.net account.

  17. Zanpher
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    There are actually some privacy violations if Blizz rolls this out to Live as it is now. They might find them selves in court in quiet a few states.

  18. Lissanna
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Well, you don’t have to use the Real ID system at all, so I’m not sure they could end up in court.

    Also, what facebook is doing right now is so much worse, so it’s the interfacing with facebook that I worry much more about. I just don’t use facebook, however.