During E3 2012 Ubisoft dropped a video game bomb and announced WATCH_DOGS, which released this week for all video game consoles, and PC.

When I first saw the game, I knew I had to play it. It was an amazing concept that leveraged notion of digital accessibility that is so commonplace today.  Taking place in hyper-connected city of Chicago, you play Aiden Pearce, a hacker seeking revenge for the accidental death of his niece. In seeking your revenge, you can either work with the law – or against it.

Given today’s technological climate, it’ll be interesting to see how this game (pardon the pun) plays out. Is it something that will feed into the existing anxiety of being susceptible to potential data leaks and cyber-theft or will you be able to play WATCH_DOGS and remember it’s all just a game? Information is the new weapon of today’s world.

The idea of connecting your life digitally isn’t a new one. The connected home is becoming more common. Near field communication (NFC) in smartphones will soon become standard making transactions and data exchange even easier.

Yet if you have kept up with the news, you’ll know that technology does have a dark side.  Personal information breaches and security hacks continue to increase in frequency forcing active web users to change their passwords almost weekly. Reports have indicated that as many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year.  Nine. Million.

Having played WATCH_DOGS at last years E3 show, I can’t wait to test this out and hack the good people of Chicago.

Go take a quick look at Digital Shadow, but make a quick note of the below:

“Your data casts a digital shadow that grows with every online interaction and can be tracked, monitored and used against you. Every photo. Every email. Every purchase. Everything you’ve ever done in the digital world can follow you into the real world. Your actions leave you exposed_” – Digital Shadow.com

Ok don’t freak out!

This site is part of the WATCH_DOGS marketing for the game. It’s basically just pulling all of your Facebook information and presenting it in a “dark and scary” way. Leveraging data based on your social media activity the site creates a unique profile of you having some fun to play up some of the themes of the game.

I’m looking forward to getting some quality time with WATCH_DOGS over the next few weeks. But just in case, I’m definitely going to keep my data protected and my digital shadow secure. You never know who may be watching.

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