How far is too far when stores require personal information? We’re pretty sure GameStop in Philadelphia has gone too far when requiring gamers to provide their fingerprints when trading in games.
According to a new policy at all GameStop stores in Philadelphia, customers who trade in video games for cash or store credit must provide their fingerprints. Customers are required to electronically scan their thumbs at the store when trading in games.
And what are they doing with this information? They collect it into a database, of course. For the police. Who will use the database to “track down stolen goods”. Right. Among other things.
What’s stunning about this isn’t that GameStop is requiring fingerprints from its customers (which is an insane policy no matter how you cut it), what’s stunning it’s that GameStop appears to be very nonchalant about this. They’ve actually been doing it for a while — they scan thumb prints in Georgia and some other locations as well.
If GameStop knows anything about law enforcement and the recovery of stolen goods, they know that a fingerprint means nothing. There are countless prints on any game case, and fingerprints are rarely used the sole evidence of theft, especially on small items that exchange hands many times.
And we’re sure that the forensics unit at the Philadelphia Police Department has nothing better to do than to sort through fingerprint databases to find the thief who stole an $2.50 copy of NBA 2K7.
What’s next, GameStop, you want a DNA sample when I trade in my copy of Pikmin 3?
If you’re ever in a GameStop store and they require you to submit your fingerprint, the polite thing to say to the GameStop clerk is “Go fuck yourself”.