Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Well I was looking through a list of the most recently released mmo's and came across the wikipedia listing for Lego Universe. you know, the new lego centered game targeted toward the 8 - 15 or so crowd. It seemed like an ok game considering the target audience and theme. however, I on finishing the article I noticed one *very* disturbing thing. basically the game has a 'friends' and a 'best friends' list for players. friends being people you meet in-game and add to your friends list - just like here or on facebook or myspace or whatever else. however the 'best friends' system is intended to be people you know in real life, can have 'unrestricted conversation' with (wtf does THAT mean exactly....?) and have a very odd requirement in order to add. that requirement is proving that you do know the person you add in real life. how does lego expect a child to prove that you ask? i'll let this quote from the page speak for itself:

Quote:
Player Association

In the game, LEGO Universe players individually will be able to link with other players either as Friends or Best Friends. Friends can be anybody a player meets in the game, while Best Friends are for connecting with people he/she knows in real life. A player can add a Friend at any time, so long as the other player is online to accept the Friend Request. However, adding a player as a Best Friend requires both players' parents to authenticate that they are who they say they are - as of the Beta Test phase, this meant entering highly personal information, such as your SSID or your Drivers' License Number.

There is also another feature, in which players will be able to build teams to overcome obstacles in order to win prizes and status on the LEGO Universe leaderboards.[27]
So lego wants to know the social security numbers and drivers license numbers of children...

now first off this doesn't prove anything as far as who you do or do not actually know. second, its not only information that lego shouldn't under any circumstances have, but its illegal in most places for companies to even ask that information unless you are applying for certain jobs. clearly there is no legitimate reason for it here.

now that being said, that information could very easily fall into the hands of some less than reputable people via hacking or corporate espionage or whatever else (hey if they can get peoples info out of sony they can do the same here) and nobody can guarantee that such information would be 100% safe and secure. not possible.

so my question is four fold: 1. why are they asking this kind of information from anybody - especially in a game targeted toward children 2. what are they using this information for 3. who in their right mind would even think about giving anybody that kind if info and 4. how is it that a parent hasn't gone after the company running the game for asking their kids for confidential information like that. there is no legal reason they could be asking for that info. should it somehow get into someone elses hands they could end up a victim of identity theft, scams, fraud or of additional information being gathered about them that could be used in various unpleasant ways.

they're asking for major trouble if they keep doing things like that. and the bigger problem is if they get away with it, how long before every other mmo is doing the same, for marketing or whatever other purpose. should that happen it would only be a matter of time before some hacker group or someone else managed to get ahold of all of that information. hell, stealing SS numbers off people is the first step in identity theft, and that database would be a big juicy target for people in that business.

So is anyone else concerned that the company running lego universe is going too far in asking for that kind of information (especially given the age of the majority of the players)?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
07-08-2011, 08:23 PM
Seems they're exposing ever younger generations to highly invasive personal data farming, making it seem like it's perfectly normal and acceptable. If they do it in LEGO Universe it can't be all that bad, can it?

Those kids whose parents aren't concerned or even offended by this, and who don't put a stop to it, may well grow up thinking that it's par for the course, especially with it featuring in a game targeted at such a young/impressionable age range. Once grown up they'll look back and think 'well it's just always been that way - it's normal so why should it concern me?'. That's what they'd love us to think. All the easier then to influence us, control us, predict our actions profit off us, and violate us further for the cause. Ouroboros.

It's essentially a conditioning or brainwashing of the young kids that play the game to think that it's normal and OK, when it is not. Here's hoping parents revolt against it and the feature dies a death if not the whole game.

Remember when we could board a plane without being scanned, strip-searched and groped?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
07-08-2011, 08:53 PM
Oh WOW. They have no right to that information at all. That is ridiculous. The possibility that their data storage mechanisms will be breached is very real, and then people are going to be screwed. Not to mention of course data mining and all that kind of corporate crap.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
07-08-2011, 11:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhodes85 View Post
So lego wants to know the social security numbers and drivers license numbers of children...
i think you misread it. there are two groups you can make.

friends and best friends. friends are anybody and best friends are people that you know in real life.

to become a best friend the parents have to then enter their details and not the childs. this is to confirm they are who they say they are, and are not a dangerous person pretending to be someone best friend.

without knowing the system i cant say if it will work or not, and im not saying i agree but its the parents who are entering their details at their choice. if they decide not to do it, the child can then only make friends and not best friends, what ever that may be.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
07-08-2011, 11:48 PM
While I don't support data farming, LEGO Online runs the risk of child exploitation--almost more so than other games.

Ultimately, parents need to monitor and discuss games with their children, explaining that not everyone who appears online is who they say they are.

If they ban access to the game through any linked emails and CC#s (the game does have a subscription that requires registration already), it's not like this information wasn't already divulged to the company.

That's far more preferable to SSNs or DL--since it's something someone already volunteered and should weed out the creeps.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
07-09-2011, 12:42 AM
I would like to point out several points here.
  • Lego do not harrass you like other companies. And Lego makes it very clear-cut about how to unsubscribe from it anyway on the profile section of the Lego site.
  • the details entered are those of the PARENTS, not the kids. Therefore, the adult may refuse. No harm done.
  • Like Revo said, the details are needed for "best friends" not normal "friends".
  • Lego is a well-known brand that takes a lot of security measures, both physical and via software. While no-one but Lego would go into this (and even they will just say "it's secure" as releasing how it's protected violates why security is there)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
07-09-2011, 12:41 PM
Quote:
i think you misread it. there are two groups you can make.

friends and best friends. friends are anybody and best friends are people that you know in real life.

to become a best friend the parents have to then enter their details and not the childs. this is to confirm they are who they say they are, and are not a dangerous person pretending to be someone best friend.

without knowing the system i cant say if it will work or not, and im not saying i agree but its the parents who are entering their details at their choice. if they decide not to do it, the child can then only make friends and not best friends, what ever that may be.
you're missing a few things there yourself.

first, its illegal for any company to ask you for that information. it is confidential. second, it said nothing about whether its the parents or kids that enter the info. regardless even if it is the parent, that is info they should not have and that they SHOULD NOT be giving anyone in the first place. aside from that it doesn't actually prove anything as far as knowing the 'friend' in real life or not

Quote:
Lego do not harrass you like other companies
i'm not sure what you mean by that. harassment is a crime.

Quote:
And Lego makes it very clear-cut about how to unsubscribe from it anyway on the profile section of the Lego site.
as does every other game

Quote:
the details entered are those of the PARENTS, not the kids. Therefore, the adult may refuse. No harm done.
it doesn't actually say that, but even if its true, the point is they should not be asking for that information whether a person can refuse or not.

Quote:
Lego is a well-known brand that takes a lot of security measures, both physical and via software. While no-one but Lego would go into this (and even they will just say "it's secure" as releasing how it's protected violates why security is there)
realistically they can claim all kinds of security measures are in place to protect that kind of information. the fact is there is no such thing as completely secure data. if someone wants it bad enough they can find a way to get it. theres always some hacker out there thats skilled enough to break through just about anything. the kind of damage that could cause to alot of people if that information got out is huge. to say nothing of the bad publicity and inevitable lawsuits that would follow. that could end up killing lego as a company.

however the overall point of the post is that they shouldn't be asking for this information at all, for any reason. and if they get away with it how long is it before everyone else is doing the same
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
07-09-2011, 02:21 PM
edit - never mind, getting into legal issues and there are not allowed on the forums.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
07-09-2011, 10:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MGDawson View Post
  • Lego is a well-known brand that takes a lot of security measures, both physical and via software.
You're right. That's exactly what Sony says and we know that our data has always been and always will be safe with them.. Oh wait.......
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
07-10-2011, 12:22 AM
The fact they are asking for driver's license numbers indicates they are looking for info from parents not children 8-15, that are not old enough to have one in most locations.
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