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This ‘Internet Treasure Hunt’ Doles Out Passwords To Premium Subscriptions

by Loknath Das

This 'Internet Treasure Hunt' Doles Out Passwords To Premium Subscriptions

I use my friend’s Hulu login, another friend’s Disney+ login, a third friend’s Spotify family subscription, and my dad’s Netflix login.

OK, the last one does not really count because he sprung for the “four screen” account, but the point remains: password sharing is ubiquitous.

I have no moral problem with this at all. Caring about behemoth corporations like Netflix and Disney losing out on my chump change? In this economy?

The folks at MSCHF — the enigmatic group behind the AI foot photo website and the rubber chicken bong, among other projects — understand this and created passwordoftheday, described as an “internet treasure hunt.”

Here’s how it works: You sign up to receive a notification, which contains further instructions. Every day at 12 p.m. ET, you can text “what’s today’s password” to that number. You’ll receive a login into to a “mystery account.” This could be for Netflix, ClassPass, a bank account with $1,000 in it (allegedly) — anything (again, allegedly).

This 'internet treasure hunt' doles out passwords to premium subscriptions

Image: mschf

The hunt portion is that you will not know what service the login information is for. MSCHF says to “explore” the internet to find out. This boils down to testing out the login until you find it or give up, probably suffering from a headache and eye strain as you do so. Whoever guesses the correct site first owns the account.

According to MSCHF’s head of commerce, Dan Greenberg, there may be some lore associated with this project. From my perspective, it’s a commentary on not only password sharing but our online behavior in general. In our society, “treasure” is a login so you don’t have to pay for Disney+ for a few months, or so you don’t have to pay for Amazon Prime for a year.

Not to mention the fact that, even if you’re a little suspect of the whole operation, there is some intrigue.

“We want to cause chaos,” Greenberg told me over email, “and by having loads of people search rapidly for a service with a single login, it will do just that.”

Chaos certainly reigns in 2020, a time where people are concerned about data privacy but still, say, give their number out to companies like MSCHF in hopes to get a free [insert your service of choice] login. Greenberg did not elaborate on how long the project will go for — and how many accounts they’re doling out for internet pirates to find — but perhaps finding out is part of the hunt.


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