EA's Origin Sends Personal Data to Third Parties

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.

  • 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."
  • secolliyn
    I knew there was a reason i never wanted to install Origin

  • rantoc
    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!
  • fictionforthetame
    I think im going to cancel my pre-order for Battlefield 3. No game is worth that cost. :'(
  • let's go indie!
  • crewton
    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!
  • Benihana
    They removed the part where we are required to bend over with every Origin launch due to legal reasons.
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    ME3 better be available somewhere else!
  • cats_Paw
    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).
  • alhanelem
    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!?!?!