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Germans claim Origin EUA allows EA to spy on Battlefield 3 players

Tuesday, 1st November 2011 19:27 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

EA has denied accusatory complaints out of Germany it’s using its Origin digital distribution end-user license as a legal way to spy on users.

According to various images posted online by German gamers, the shots show what appears to be Origin accessing “external programs and data synced from mobile phones,” according to Eurogamer.

The Spiegel newspaper in the country also printed a list of items from the license agreement, which could be in violation of the country’s privacy laws.

Those items included the right for EA to access other EA products installed on user systems without notifying the user first, and to use the PC’s “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.”

Some German Battlefield 3 players have returned purchased copies of the game to stores, and are slamming the game on Amazon.de.

Due to the outrage, EA has updated Origin’s terms of service in response, and have denied it’s using Origin as spyware.

“We have updated the End User License Agreement of Origin, in the interests of our players to create more clarity,” EA Germany announced in a statement. “Origin is not spyware. Neither do we use nor install spyware on the PCs of users.

“We do not have access to information such as pictures, documents or personal data, which have nothing to do with the execution of the Origin program on the system of the player, neither will they be collected by us.

“EA takes the privacy of its users very seriously. We have taken every precaution to protect the personal and anonymous user data collected.”

The firm stressed that its Origin license agreement is in line with “industry-standard privacy policies” and it will continue to work with the German government to “ensure that our policies are and remain legally compliant.”

A similar worry surfaced over the services’ end-user agreement back in August.

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6 Comments

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  1. GrimRita

    This company need to be taken to court for the lame actions. Seriously. If they actually gave a shit, maybe they should have an ‘Opt out of spyware bullshit’ button and let users decide what THEY want.

    Clearly this is all done in a dirty way, so EA can mine the data they need to sell their crappy spyware to third party companies as a ‘more focused’ approach to what gamers play, what websites they visit, what they download amongst other stuff.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. _LarZen_

    I care…………..not.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Shubb9

    Exactly why I haven’t picked up BF3.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    The extract from the EULA is almost 100% identical to the one on Steam.

    EA aren’t very nice and Origin isn’t a very good client, but it’s still not an attempt to overthrow the government.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OrbitMonkey

    Maybe with each Origin download a set of instructions on how to construct your own tinfoil hat should be included…

    Thus preventing eeeevil spyware from robbing your vital fluids…

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DSB

    That’s only halfway silly OrbitMonkey.

    Most EULAs are written in 100% lawyer, when really very little of them is ever going to be directed at lawyers themselves.

    They’re meant for ordinary people, and while people with patience and a vocabulary will be able to “decipher” them just fine, they are certainly needlessly complex.

    It would be nice to see a company do some examples of what their third party interaction is like, or at least change the language to something that’s easily consumed by people.

    Certainly for EA, their image coupled with laywerspeak means that people see them building mindreading gaming clients, and I don’t see how that serves anyone.

    Maybe get an actual person to write some of it it. Rather than a legal goon.

    +1 million for the Dr. Strangelove reference though.

    #6 2 years ago