Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs marketing stunt reveals what Facebook knows about you

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In April 2014, Ubisoft promoted its digital espionage game Watch Dogs with a site that scrapes publicly available information from Facebook to show users how much of their data is in the public domain… and how it could be exploited.

Watch this trailer showing how the tool works below:


DigitalShadow scrapes a users’ publicly available information from Facebook, the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labour and Statistics in the US to show a true picture of their interests and frequent locations, along with ways that shady organisations might exploit this information against them.

The campaign requests permission to access a user's account and then pulls information to build a comprehensive dossier of the user as if he or she were an assassin's target.

Digital Shadow first shows users the photos they've tagged as public, then it moves on to examine their friends.

It shows users which of their Facebook friends they interact with most, which interact with them the most, which they don't interact with at all, and even which friends they've been stalking that haven't been stalking them back.

It also provides a potential salary based on educational level and job title, as well as a breakdown of possible passwords that could be used to hack their accounts.

Perhaps most significantly, Digital Shadow places a monetary value on the data they share online, assessing what their displayed information would be worth to marketers and advertisers. People with higher "digital shadow values" expose more of themselves to the wider world.

In addition to all this, Digital Shadow shows "commonly used words" in a user’s Facebook posts and performs sentiment analysis on them, using the frequency of these words to assess whether they are neurotic, depressive, deviant, volatile or submissive.

"Watch Dogs" will be released for PC, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 on May 27.

Watch a trailer for the game here:

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