Why tracking an avatar doesn't need RLV

A day or so ago a discussion broke out in two groups (first in one group and then in the second when someone from the first asked advice in the second which they then passed back to the first) that, in part, related to how an avatar could be tracked by a third party. The usual things were mentioned, ensuring that they're not on the contact list and that map location wasn't being shared being the most obvious one. And then someone said something along the lines of "RLV will let you do it".

That, of course, piqued my interest. Not because it sounds like something RLV can do that I don't know about, but because I can't imagine a way that RLV would be needed to do it over and above the ways you could do it, with a simple script, without RLV.

This bugs me. The idea that any kind of stalkerish behaviour, that involves scripts, requires RLV, is unhelpful in so many ways. It's unhelpful because it generally isn't true (you could use it as part of stalkerish behaviour but the things people are most likely to want to do don't need it) and also because it gives people who don't use RLV a false sense of security.

Let's take tracking someone as an example. If you wanted to track someone you could make a really simple script that:

  1. Gets their position in a region.
  2. Gets the region name.
  3. Makes a SLURL from that information.
  4. Uses llInstantMessage() to send you that information.
  5. Perhaps do the above on a timer and also when they change region.
Of course, you could do something far more sophisticated if you needed, but the above is the bare bones of something that would stalk someone's location. The key point here is that all of the above uses normal LSL scripting. No RLV is required at all.

So, suppose you partner with someone and they hand you a wedding ring that they want you to wear all the time. Are you positive that a script like the above isn't running in it? Would you feel safer knowing that you're not running RLV so there's no way they could track your location?

A related issue that I see crop up now and again is the suggestion that chat spying goes hand-in-hand with RLV. This, again, is unhelpful for the reasons I mention above. While it's true that chat-spying is often an optional feature of collars used for BDSM role play it isn't the case that RLV is required to make it happen. Again, consider a function that does nothing more than:

  1. Listen to channel 0.
  2. When something is said on channel 0 use llInstantMessage() to send you what was said.
And that's it. Again, it's not a sophisticated way of doing it, and there's no way it would scale well, but it again demonstrates that you don't need to be using RLV for this to happen.

So, can we all agree to stop blaming RLV for this sort of stuff now? Yeah? Awesome. Thanks.

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