Biometrics: The Future of DRM

September 24, 2012

DRM has certainly come a long way since its inception. More commonly related to the anti-piracy mechanism used to curb illegal song sharing in iTunes, the ways that companies protect their games must continue to evolve as hackers probe into software for illicit purposes. According to a recent patent filed by Sony, future digital rights systems may take biometrics into consideration.

I know all of us aren’t biology majors here, so you might be wondering what exactly is biometrics. In its simplest terms, this refers to any sort of recognition made by a part or chemical of the body. For example, we see biometrics put to practical use in the computing universe with the recent popularity of finger scanners replacing simple laptop passwords. In this sense, the protection and content are tied to specific bodily attributes that belong only to the person. Such a system can only be trumped with some very artful hacking indeed.

In the patent mentioned above however, Sony may be making plans that extend far beyond just our fingerprints. In addition to the aforementioned technique, retina scanning as well as straight DNA testing have been seen as possible glimpses into the future of DRM. By taking a biometric look at the user, a system would only allow that specific person to download the content that they have purchased. Any others that don’t fit the biology then will be locked out for reasons of piracy. Do you guys think this system goes too far in breaching our personal right to play video games? Even more interesting is, what fancy ways will hackers come up with to bypass these kinds of test mechanisms. Surely only time will tell.

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Tags: biometric security, dna testing, Sony

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