There’s nothing illegal about re-selling your used video games, but some state and local governments have now begun including your old games on the list of items that require buyers to take down detailed information about you in order to track the purchase.
The idea behind these secondhand goods laws was to keep track of those used items that are often stolen just to be re-sold at pawn shops and other stores that pay cash for used items. As of now, reports TheVerge.com, 10 states and the District of Columbia include video games in these laws.
The information that stores like GameStop, Best Buy and others must now keep track of varies from state to state, but it can be anywhere from a general physical description of the seller to fingerprints.
One law would have required stores to take photos of the seller’s vehicle, but the Electronic Merchants Association successfully lobbied to put an end to that idea.
“A lot of these laws are driven by people trying to do the right thing,” a rep for EMA tells TheVerge. “But in many cases they don’t understand the impact. They are thinking that the only stores effected would be more like pawn shops. We are raising awareness that it’s not just traditional secondhand stores, there are big retailers doing this as well.”
Of concern to a number of customers is the question of what is being done with the information that is collected by retailers. Consumers should be told whether or not that data is being given directly to authorities, but retailers worry that telling the customer that their info is being sent to the police might be a bit of a turn-off.
“There are some laws that require signage saying that these transactions are reported to law enforcement,” said the EMA rep. “Is that really necessary in a primarily new goods store?”
I’ll give you the short answer: Yes.
“It’s a classic example of a slippery slope,” a senior policy analyst at the ACLU tells TheVerge. “Initially, limited information was collected about high value, frequently stolen items and the next thing you know they’re collecting information for $20 video games… I think whenever you have private companies doing things for the government it raises a whole set of questions about oversight and how that data is used.”
How selling used games marks you as a potential criminal [TheVerge.com]
Thanks to Mr. Raccoon for the tip!