Sunday, April 27, 2014

Watch Dogs 'Digital Shadow' viral marketing campaign will stalk you through Facebook

Way back before social media was a thing, people had to actually research - or at least Google - a person to learn anything about them.

Now, we happily give this information away for free on Facebook and similar sites without stopping to think of what the repercussions of our insane quest to stay connected to people we kinda had a crush on back in college.

This would be a nightmare if a corrupt government began using this information to track and monitor us - and that's exactly the sort of world that Ubisoft's upcoming Orwellian thriller Watch Dogs is set in.

To drum up some buzz for the game's release, Ubisoft released a viral marketing campaign that's equal parts clever and creepy.  Codenamed "Digital Shadow", this campaign trawls through your Facebook profile and collects as much information about you as is publicly available, and then presents in a technojargon-y, "we're coming to kill you" sort of way.

Edit: it appears Digital Shadow is only available in the US.  Sorry about that, European readers!

All told, it's pretty nifty since it shows you who you interact with the most, who you stalk the most, etc. - but what makes it actually kinda useful is that it shows you who your "liabilities" are (friends who constantly tag you in public posts and pictures) and it even goes so far as to make a few stabs at your likely password based on your interests.

Lib3r@l would be a great name for an upcoming chip-hop DJ

Thankfully, I'm a completely paranoid individual and my passwords are each a cleverly-crafted, obfuscated point of pride - but to less... aware... individuals, this should hopefully serve as a wake-up call. If not on the password front, it's a great reminder to lock down the information you have available to the public on Facebook.

Now, admittedly, you have to give the app permission to access your data - so it's going way deeper than your average stalker could - but it's sill good to know what you're putting out there and who can find it.

All of that said, I did find it rather fitting than Digital Shadow passed the following judgment on me:

"You display questionable moral judgment and proclivity for engaging in addictive behaviors."

Clearly, it knows I love me a good MMO.