Sunday, November 21, 2004 1:48 PM

This is bad. Very bad.



Take a look at this. The barcode to transact the DS sale in store is actually on the back of the unit itself and scannable through a cellophane window in the DS box. This is bad. This means that Nintendo has the capability to identify the specific unit as it travels through the world.

This could add up to a much more serious privacy violation than unique serial numbers in some CPUs - why? In addition to knowing which unit belongs to which person (If you preordered the DS or bought it with a credit card your identity is irrevocably tied to that unit in a database) - this thing can tell something about your location in physical space!

We know that the DS has the capability to come out of sleep mode to recieve a pictochat message from a nearby unit via an ad-hoc wi-fi connection - therefore we can deduce that the hardware is capable of sending such a message whenever you walk through one of the invisible wireless networks that we urbanites pass through each day. It would be a simple matter to catalog the various travels of a unit day in and day out - and because that unit is tied to you....

Hacking this beautiful beast is imperitive if only to explicitly assert our right to privacy.

POSTED BY Brett | PERMALINK |  

3 Comments:

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous said...

Feh. Be much more frightened about cellphones. I mean, some have cameras, microphones, GPS recievers, a longer range radio connection, unique serials, and everything is logged by just one company.

If you're really worried, buy with cash.

 
At 11:46 PM, Anonymous said...

GBA and GCN use the same system. Is there any reason to believe anything in the actual system mechanics can uniquely match it with these codes, though?

 
At 2:10 PM, Anonymous said...

This scannable barcode on the actual product has been done since the Super NES, Virtual boy & Original Gameboy. Plus if you are one of the few people that actually registers their N products at the official website, then of course they know which units you have.

But really, as far as privacy goes, yesh tracking the DS in my pocket and knowing where I am is a little concern to me. As Otacon once said - satellite surveillance is a national past time." If someone wants to be able to locate me, they can easily via our cell phones. My privacy has already been invaded.

 

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