One major privacy issue with our increasingly digital lives comes in the form of data brokers, who gather up all the information we share with various sites, combine it, package it into “insights” about our consumer behavior and sell it to the highest bidder — ostensibly barring specifically illegal uses of the data.
As the template for the NSA’s PRISM, it’s kind of a big deal, yet it seems to bore the bejesus out of most readers.
Would it still bore you in video game format, dear reader? Because a bunch of developers working as a nonprofit are developing just such a game, called Data Dealer, using a Creative Commons license.
The project just closed a successful Kickstarter campaign yesterday. A demo version of the game is live, and the full social version will launch within the “next few months,” according to the website.
In the game, the player is the data broker, scooping up different bits of information on users fromdifferent sources, including some who are not legally allowed to sell the information they’ve got.
“Legal? Illegal? Whatever,” is the game’s tagline.
The player starts with $5,000, and can earn more by selling the profiles.
The game also suggests that data brokers can piece bits of information together, ultimately attaching a person’s real name to what s/he likely believes are anonymous online interactions.
The developers claim that they base “most of the stories in the game” on real events that they unearthed through research that they’ve also made available [pdf].
So stop reading this post already — we know you’re dying to, we watch you in Google Analytics — and go play the demo version of game.