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EA's Origin Sends Personal Data to Third Parties

By - Source: Reddit | B 101 comments
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Part of Origin's EULA allows Electronic Arts to snoop through your system -- including installed and uninstalled software -- and send that information to third-party service providers.

Honestly EA, what are you up to now? The gaming publisher is currently under fire by outraged consumers after a close examination of the End User License Agreement for Origin reveals that it grants EA the right to snoop through desktops and laptops once the user agrees to the terms. If that wasn't invasive enough, the agreement also allows EA to share all that information to third party service providers.

"You agree that EA may collect, use, store and transmit technical and related information that identifies your computer (including the Internet Protocol Address), operating system, Application usage (including but not limited to successful installation and/or removal), software, software usage and peripheral hardware, that may be gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, dynamically served content, product support and other services to you, including online services," the agreement reads. "EA may also use this information combined with personal information for marketing purposes and to improve our products and services. We may also share that data with our third party service providers in a form that does not personally identify you. IF YOU DO NOT WANT EA TO COLLECT, USE, STORE, TRANSMIT OR DISPLAY THE DATA DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION, PLEASE DO NOT INSTALL OR USE THE APPLICATION."

Now here’s the kicker: if EA customers don't agree to the company's snooping and sharing of private data to third parties, then they won't have access to exclusive PC games like Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. The Origin agreement also doesn't allow the user to opt out at any time after the initial acceptance, meaning that they either must choose to share their personal information indefinitely, or not play EA's exclusive PC games at all.

Reddit is currently rallying EA gamers to contact the company by email or snail mail to protest against the invasion of privacy. According to EA's privacy policy instructions, consumers can first try to settle the matter with the company directly using the contact info at http://www.ea.com/1/privacy-contacts. Consumers can also drop an email to the relevant statutory privacy body or advocacy group, presumably the Electronic Frontier Foundation which typically stands up for gamer privacy rights.

Then again, Origin's invasive nature may have been one of the reasons why EA chose to launch its own client in the first place: to see who is pirating EA games... if it indeed scans all installed and uninstalled software on a system, that is.

So far EA hasn't publicly responded to the complaints.

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    fictionforthetame , August 25, 2011 8:23 AM
    I think im going to cancel my pre-order for Battlefield 3. No game is worth that cost. :'( 
  • 26 Hide
    secolliyn , August 25, 2011 8:09 AM
    I knew there was a reason i never wanted to install Origin

  • 20 Hide
    cats_Paw , August 25, 2011 9:14 AM
    Yet another reason to "not buy original games". If they keep this, eventually only pirated games will have any sense. Some time ago someone told me that piradted games had better support, had no buggy security settings (everybody remmebers securerom), people can add their own mods easy, on some OS the software simply "aint supposed to work", yet you pirate the game, and the dude will explain to you how to make it work.
    Finally this crap.

    So lets see:

    Option 1: I pay 50 Euros, i get a game that will probably not work for some time, then i have to battle the security system since i dont have the latest driver, then i get to play the game and if it crashes, wait a few more weeks till they patch it, then i can play it again, and once i upgrade my windows, i can throw it away.

    Option 2: I download it, i play it, i save it for later.

    Yeah, hard choice. So far i only see buying the original game a way of thanking the company for making a good game, and then beeing not harrased by legal lawsuits (as far as i know if you have an original copy of something, you can get a pirated version as well, since you already payed for the contenent).
Other Comments
    Display all 101 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2011 8:08 AM
    Your wrong. Stephen Reid stated on The Old Republic forums you wont need origins to launch, update, or play The old Republic.

    "Regardless of what other games may choose to do in their integration with Origin's desktop client, here's what our situation is:

    You are not required to use the Origin desktop client to download, patch or play the game client for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

    This applies whether you purchase The Old Republic via Origin.com or from a retailer in boxed form. You will not be forced to install the Origin desktop client.

    There are still various consumer benefits to the client itself, but it's not required for The Old Republic."
  • 26 Hide
    secolliyn , August 25, 2011 8:09 AM
    I knew there was a reason i never wanted to install Origin

  • 20 Hide
    rantoc , August 25, 2011 8:11 AM
    Its one of the reasons i uninstalled this spyware to begin with (along with autostart ect). EA played nice for a while but it seems their going back to the old EA where they will learn the same leason again - DON'T antagonize your income (ie customers) it only bite you in the ass later!
  • 29 Hide
    fictionforthetame , August 25, 2011 8:23 AM
    I think im going to cancel my pre-order for Battlefield 3. No game is worth that cost. :'( 
  • 14 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2011 8:27 AM
    let's go indie!
  • 2 Hide
    crewton , August 25, 2011 8:34 AM
    I planned on downloading SWTOR while I waited for my physically copy to arrive from amazon...guess I'll just wait for the physical copy. Sucks, I wanted my early access!
  • 10 Hide
    Benihana , August 25, 2011 8:57 AM
    They removed the part where we are required to bend over with every Origin launch due to legal reasons.
  • 4 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 25, 2011 9:01 AM
    ME3 better be available somewhere else!
  • 20 Hide
    cats_Paw , August 25, 2011 9:14 AM
    Yet another reason to "not buy original games". If they keep this, eventually only pirated games will have any sense. Some time ago someone told me that piradted games had better support, had no buggy security settings (everybody remmebers securerom), people can add their own mods easy, on some OS the software simply "aint supposed to work", yet you pirate the game, and the dude will explain to you how to make it work.
    Finally this crap.

    So lets see:

    Option 1: I pay 50 Euros, i get a game that will probably not work for some time, then i have to battle the security system since i dont have the latest driver, then i get to play the game and if it crashes, wait a few more weeks till they patch it, then i can play it again, and once i upgrade my windows, i can throw it away.

    Option 2: I download it, i play it, i save it for later.

    Yeah, hard choice. So far i only see buying the original game a way of thanking the company for making a good game, and then beeing not harrased by legal lawsuits (as far as i know if you have an original copy of something, you can get a pirated version as well, since you already payed for the contenent).
  • 18 Hide
    alhanelem , August 25, 2011 9:18 AM
    ....seriously?
    Why you do this EA? Why?
    Its like you expect us to just bend over and let you have your way with us.
    Why is it when big companies get so popular they think the only way to get more market share is to do this sort of thing.
    How about making some good quality games that aren't console ports!?!?!
  • 7 Hide
    cats_Paw , August 25, 2011 9:22 AM
    I forgot the worst, I live in spain, where the level of english understanding is relativly reduced. This means that "by default" games will come in spanish. Becouse of this, if you get a game with only 1 language, it will most likely be spanish...
    Some games really shine with dialogues, and getting a somewhat crappy translation kills at least 20% of the games power.
  • -1 Hide
    primonatron , August 25, 2011 9:26 AM
    Can someone explain what EA's Origin will be doing that Steam isn't doing?

    Steam collects information on what is on your computer
    http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey
    And their privacy policy looks like it condones the same things to me, just worded differently
    http://www.valvesoftware.com/privacy.html
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2011 9:36 AM
    IT STATES CLEARLY:

    "EA knows that you care how information about you is collected, used and
    shared, and we appreciate your trust that we will do so carefully and sensibly.
    Information about our customers is an important part of our business, and EA
    would never sell your personally identifiable information to anyone, nor would it
    ever use spyware or install spyware on users’ machines. We and agents acting on our behalf do not share information that personally identifies you without your
    consent, except in rare instances where disclosure is required by law or to
    enforce EA’s legal rights. "
  • 0 Hide
    xrodney , August 25, 2011 9:54 AM
    If this is what they do its actually against law to share PI/SPI without your agreement and that this needs to be separate agreement for this reason only and as far as I know it have to be physical copy with your sign on it. And countries where is it in place are very strict at enforcing it.
  • 14 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2011 10:25 AM
    For those who doubt (like Exterminus33354 or Elmontro...):

    http://tos.ea.com/legalapp/eula/EN/en/ORIGIN/
    (Not some PDF on amazonws but the currently ACTIVE and BINDING EULA)

    2. Consent to Collection and Use of Data.

    You agree that EA may collect, use, store and transmit technical and related information that identifies your computer (including the Internet Protocol Address), operating system, Application usage (including but not limited to successful installation and/or removal), software, software usage and peripheral hardware, that may be gathered periodically to facilitate the provision of software updates, dynamically served content, product support and other services to you, including online services. EA may also use this information combined with personal information for marketing purposes and to improve our products and services. We may also share that data with our third party service providers in a form that does not personally identify you. IF YOU DO NOT WANT EA TO COLLECT, USE, STORE, TRANSMIT OR DISPLAY THE DATA DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION, PLEASE DO NOT INSTALL OR USE THE APPLICATION.


    Sorry EA, as much as I want to play BF3... with those EULAs I will NEVER EVER install it!
  • 5 Hide
    rantoc , August 25, 2011 10:28 AM
    alhanelem[/nomWhy is it when big companies get so popular they think the only way to get more market share is to do this sort of thing.How about making some good quality games that aren't console ports!?!?!


    Because when a developer/distributor gets big enough the suit team arrives and they want the maximized income from everything and its done in the short term with no regard of the long survivability of the company. When the ship then starts to sink they jump to the next like rats and they back up their claims the did a good job with the first and it was only when they left it went to hell. Its like if the captain of the titanic left the ship after the iceberg, claiming he did a good job and the new appointed captain was the cause of the sinking. Thats suit's my friends!
  • 3 Hide
    razor512 , August 25, 2011 10:47 AM
    Cats_PawYet another reason to "not buy original games". If they keep this, eventually only pirated games will have any sense. Some time ago someone told me that piradted games had better support, had no buggy security settings (everybody remmebers securerom), people can add their own mods easy, on some OS the software simply "aint supposed to work", yet you pirate the game, and the dude will explain to you how to make it work.Finally this crap. So lets see: Option 1: I pay 50 Euros, i get a game that will probably not work for some time, then i have to battle the security system since i dont have the latest driver, then i get to play the game and if it crashes, wait a few more weeks till they patch it, then i can play it again, and once i upgrade my windows, i can throw it away.Option 2: I download it, i play it, i save it for later.Yeah, hard choice. So far i only see buying the original game a way of thanking the company for making a good game, and then beeing not harrased by legal lawsuits (as far as i know if you have an original copy of something, you can get a pirated version as well, since you already payed for the contenent).



    cracked games not only have better support and less bugs, they also have more features.

    For example most cracked games can be saved to a 8-16GB flash drive and launched from any computer.(Most games don't make much use of registry values, all they need to be able to do is create a game folder in the my documents folder for the settings and game saves)

    With many games, the DRM can cause issues such as random crash to desktop issues, as well as performance issues where the DRM runs periodic memory checks which causes lag spikes.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , August 25, 2011 11:08 AM
    Ok, the EA boss says he wants to End Cod reign in the next 3 years saying they will die, seriously Bf3 was your best hope of doing that. But after saying bf3 will be origin exclusive its a so so but you def lost sales because steam is better. Now this privacy crap, really you making yourself lose this battle to Cod. Since the PC is bf3 main port, by doing all this origin crap, i say more people will stick with Cod and steam. You have your best chance to end cod with bf3, but now really origin is screwing you up. good job.
  • 4 Hide
    bustapr , August 25, 2011 11:22 AM
    I hate you EA. you also forgot to mention how you dont even buy a liscence to games, instead you rent them for a year at retail price and may have to buy again after the year mark, also in the EULA.
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