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Programming

Submission + - Establishing user identity on free sites.

RPalkovic writes: "I'm in a bit of a predicament. I am an administrator of a smallish online game with free registration. We're running into a problem where users are violating the terms of service by creating and using multiple accounts, but since we do not collect any personal information, nor would we have a way to verify it if we did, we're running into problems enforcing the "one account per user" section of the terms of service.

We've tried tracking IP addresses and letting people know that if they are caught sharing in game transactions with anyone they've shared an IP address with will result in termination of their account. We've also given them a list of anyone who've they've shared an IP address with.

The problem with this method is that several of our players play in internet cafes, or at school, and we've even run into people who live in different countries who end up sharing an IP address because they use the same proxy server.

We tossed around the idea of changing the terms of service to limit players to one account per computer, but that would impact single computer households and would require the installation of an ActiveX control (or similar) to gather an NIC's mac address or somehow generate a unique hash based on the hardware configuration.

We also tossed around the idea of only allowing registration via Major ISP's or pay for e-mail providers, but that hampers those that ONLY play at an internet cafe or school network, as they may not have a non-free e-mail address.

Our main goal is to keep the site free, with a secondary goal of preventing any single user from having more than one account.

Have any other SlashDotters found a creative way to prevent users from having more than one account to an online service without charging a fee for registration, or being forced to verify user identity?"

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