I am writing a program, or starting at the very beginning of it, and I am thinking of purchase verification systems as a final step. I will be catering to Macs, PCs, and possibly Linux if all is said and done. I will also be programming this for smartphones as well using C++ and Objective-C. (I am writing a blueprint before going head first into it)
That being said, I am not asking for help on doing it yet, but what I’m looking for is a realistic measurement for what could be expected as a viable and ethical option for purchase verification systems.
Apple through the Apple Store, and some other stores out there have their own "You bought it" check.
I am looking to use a three prong verification system.
- 16 to 32 character serial number using alpha/numeric and symbols with Upper and lowercase variants.
- MAC Address.
The first two are in my mind ok, but I have to ask on an ethical standpoint, is a MAC Address to lock the software to said hardware unethical, or is it smart?
I understand if an Ethernet card changes if not part of the logic board, or if the logic board changes so does the MAC address, so if that changes it will have to be re-verified, but I have to ask with how everything is today.
Is it ethical to actually use the MAC address as a validation key or no? Should I be forward with this kind of verification system or should I keep it hidden as a secret? Yes I know hackers and others will find ways of knowing what I am doing, but in reality this is why I am asking.
I know no verification is foolproof, but making it so that its harder to break is something I've always been interested in, and learning how to program is bringing up these questions, because I don't want to assume one thing and find out it's not really accepted in the programming world as a "you shouldn't do that" maneuver.
I am just learning how to program, and I am just making sure I'm not breaking some ethical programmer credo I shouldn't.