With upcoming games such as Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic, Electronic Arts' products are certain to be bound for a lot of PCs. According to a growing group of unhappy gamers, however, EA's Origin digital distribution system will be going much too deeply into their PCs.
These gamers have looked closely at Origin's EULA (End User License Agreement), and discovered that EA will only allow them the privilege of paying to download Origin-hosted games if they agree to a number of additional conditions.
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.
In short, this means that EA's Origin acts as 'spyware', able to harvest nearly every pertinent detail of a user's computer -- potentially including what users do with software that has absolutely nothing to do with EA's games. But what does EA want to do with all of this information?
EA may also use this information combined with personal information for marketing purposes and to improve our products and services, continues the EULA. We may also share that data with our third party service providers in a form that does not personally identify you.
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There may be another reason, as well. As Kevin Parrish of Tom's Hardware writes, 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.
This goes much too far for some people, including one Reddit user who is starting a campaign to raise awareness of Origin's privacy violation.
I cannot emphasize enough how important this is, writes Reddit user 'fdtm'. Raising awareness of this issue would be 100x more effective than a silent 1% 'voting with their wallets'.
James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com. Green Monster Solar offers renewable energy solutions from solar to the latest green technologies. Experience Green Monster today.