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EA denies Origin spies on Battlefield 3 PC players

EA denies Origin spies on Battlefield 3 PC players

Electronic Arts has denied that download service Origin breaks privacy law and spies on users.

Electronic Arts has denied accusations from German gamers that download service Origin breaks privacy laws and spies on the activity of Battlefield 3 gamers.

EA's Origin is required to play Battlefield 3 on PC and German gamers were provoked into outrage after images appeared online which indicated that Origin was accessing external programs and data synced from mobile phones.

German newspaper The Spiegel also posted a list of items from Origin's license agreement, highlighting areas it believed violated German privacy law. These clauses included EA reserving the right to access data from other EA products without notifying the user, as well as the right for EA 'and partners' to "gather, use, store and transmit technical" on "IP addresses, usage data, software, equipment, software usage and existing hardware peripherals" for "marketing purposes".

German gamers responded by giving negative Amazon reviews to Battlefield 3 on PC and returning shop-bought copies to stores, says Eurogamer.

EA has updated the Origin EULA in response to the outcry and issued a statement to address concerns.

'We have updated the End User License Agreement of Origin, in the interests of our players to create more clarity,' says EA Germany. '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.'

Origin's license agreement matches 'industry-standard privacy policies...[but] where necessary, we will of course work together with the relevant Government agencies to ensure that our policies are and remain legally compliant.'

Read our Battlefield 3 review for more information on the game, then let us know your thoughts in the forums.

86 Comments

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Nanu 2nd November 2011, 11:59 Quote
I thought this was well known? this puts us in termoil as PC gamers though surely, sign up to something you don't agree with (origin's EULA) and effectively financially back the only studio that's put out a ground-breaking DX11 FPS....

Or dont buy it and risk the death of high end gaming development?

I didn't realise you had to have Origin with a shop-bought copy? my plan was to buy the disc and avoid origin that way, but if that's not possible it'll have to be an -avoid- title i guess.
yassarikhan786 2nd November 2011, 12:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanu
I thought this was well known? this puts us in termoil as PC gamers though surely, sign up to something you don't agree with (origin's EULA) and effectively financially back the only studio that's put out a ground-breaking DX11 FPS....

Or dont buy it and risk the death of high end gaming development?

I didn't realise you had to have Origin with a shop-bought copy? my plan was to buy the disc and avoid origin that way, but if that's not possible it'll have to be an -avoid- title i guess.

Yup, you need Origin to run the game.
runadumb 2nd November 2011, 12:04 Quote
Soon it will transpire that for every customer Origin gains they drown a puppy.

I feel like a sellout putting my fingers in my ears and going "LAlalalalalalaal" over this origin nonsense. I normally don't buy the games if I don't like the terms, like always on DRM but by god i'm loving BF3 and I want to continue playing it. :(

D.I.C.E is the real victim here.
*hangs head in shame*
Parge 2nd November 2011, 12:07 Quote
Being the best multiplayer FPS for as long as I can remember, you would an absolute idiot or a paranoid peadophile to not play BF3 just because of Origin.

Its actually a pretty good piece of software (if rendered somewhat obsolete by Battlelog)
wuyanxu 2nd November 2011, 12:09 Quote
despite what EA says. i'd like to know what's this sandbox mode people keep talking about? how do i run Origin in sandbox mode?
Vo0Ds 2nd November 2011, 12:16 Quote
It's a bit silly to hate on BF3 to rebel against Origin, it's just a delivery platform that's been (presumably) forced by EA.
Krikkit 2nd November 2011, 12:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
despite what EA says. i'd like to know what's this sandbox mode people keep talking about? how do i run Origin in sandbox mode?

It's not a mode, you have to run Origin/BF3 sandboxed. A few guides are popping up on the net , one here.
smc8788 2nd November 2011, 12:35 Quote
Kinda glad I decided to steer clear of BF3 now...

I must say though, EA has done an impressive job of turning one of my most anticipated games of the year into one I wouldn't touch with a 10ft pole with the amount of **** they think they can get away with (no mod support, woeful server browser system, compulsory Origin installation, no Steam etc. etc.).
Sensei 2nd November 2011, 12:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vo0Ds
It's a bit silly to hate on BF3 to rebel against Origin, it's just a delivery platform that's been (presumably) forced by EA.
Hi. No its not just a delivery platform unfortunately. The big issue is that in the Terms you need to agree to so that Origin would be installed, theres a whole load of stuff about pretty much accessing whatever they wanted on your drive and distributing it if they wanted amongst their partners. Heres a link http://t.co/cwoGUyW9
If they have now retracted all that nonsense, then I may actually buy BF3. Its not a case of having anything to hide, its a case of its my PC so keep your nose out.
Please correct me if Im wrong.
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 12:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vo0Ds
It's a bit silly to hate on BF3 to rebel against Origin, it's just a delivery platform that's been (presumably) forced by EA.
Hi. No its not just a delivery platform unfortunately. The big issue is that in the Terms you need to agree to so that Origin would be installed, theres a whole load of stuff about pretty much accessing whatever they wanted on your drive and distributing it if they wanted amongst their partners. Heres a link http://t.co/cwoGUyW9
If they have now retracted all that nonsense, then I may actually buy BF3. Its not a case of having anything to hide, its a case of its my PC so keep your nose out.
Please correct me if Im wrong.

That part of the EULA got changed a good while back but even in it's original guise it never said that EA would be accessing whatever they wanted on your PC and sharing it with third parties. It may have been possible to interpret it that way thanks to some poor wording choices but it remained nothing more than an interpretation/guess about what EA would do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
compulsory Origin installation, no Steam

So being forced to install Origin is bad but it'd be fine if people were forced to install Steam instead?
Baz 2nd November 2011, 12:49 Quote
Reposting this from the BF3 comments thread
Quote:
Originally Posted by A clever bloke called Mitsuhiko on the reddit forums


Yay. Conspiracies. So let's see what Origin really does, shall we?
If you hook process monitor onto Origin you will not see Origin scanning anything, independently of how long you use it. So what triggered the OP's screenshot?
Origin on installation will try to find games installed on your harddrive and automatically register them within Origin. It does that in a couple of different ways:
It reads the windows games registry
It looks for games in Program Files
It looks for games in ProgramData (where, for unknown reason the OP's SMS and tax software are storing the data instead of the user profile where that data should go!)
it reads the xfire config if it finds one for games
If you look at the screenshot closely you will see that it does not actually read any files. Instead it looks for their existence and recursively walks the directory. It does not read any of your files, at least not judging from this screenshot or anything I have found on my machine.
Lastly if you monitor the network traffic that Origin causes you will see that it does not transmit anything of value to EA. So far I have not seen anything bug login credentials being submitted.
But it's always so much more fun to assume that software is inherently evil. You can hook a syscall monitor on any application and you will see that it operates all over the drive. That's not something unique to Origin. Steam will do the same if you click the "add non steam game" button.
//EDIT: something I forgot: I think people should not run any sysinternals tools without a basic understanding of what they do or at least not jump to conclusions..

/concur.

<teacup><Storm></teacup>
Sensei 2nd November 2011, 12:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vo0Ds
It's a bit silly to hate on BF3 to rebel against Origin, it's just a delivery platform that's been (presumably) forced by EA.
Hi. No its not just a delivery platform unfortunately. The big issue is that in the Terms you need to agree to so that Origin would be installed, theres a whole load of stuff about pretty much accessing whatever they wanted on your drive and distributing it if they wanted amongst their partners. Heres a link http://t.co/cwoGUyW9
If they have now retracted all that nonsense, then I may actually buy BF3. Its not a case of having anything to hide, its a case of its my PC so keep your nose out.
Please correct me if Im wrong.

That part of the EULA got changed a good while back but even in it's original guise it never said that EA would be accessing whatever they wanted on your PC and sharing it with third parties. It may have been possible to interpret it that way thanks to some poor wording choices but it remained nothing more than an interpretation/guess about what EA would do.

These are the terms below, have they been changed?:
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. This and all other data provided to EA and/or collected by EA in connection with your installation and use of this Application is collected, used, stored and transmitted in accordance with EA’s Privacy Policy located at www.ea.com. To the extent that anything in this section conflicts with the terms of EA’s Privacy Policy, the terms of the Privacy Policy shall control.
javaman 2nd November 2011, 12:53 Quote
So much for EA changing. Only thing they changed was into a second rate activison (who's games I currently boycott). Was looking forward to getting BF3 but guess I won't risk it and just avoid. I'm already pissed at them getting kicked off steam and its probably because Valve didn't allow this sort of practice.
Who wants to bet mass effect 3 will be the same?
Denis_iii 2nd November 2011, 12:55 Quote
why can't the gaming companies and publishers just come together and provide ONE platform for use on PC, Mac, Xbox, PS3, Nintendo etc etc etc :/ guess I'm a democratic communist or something
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Reposting this from the BF3 comments thread

/concur.

<teacup><Storm></teacup>

Excellent post from that Mitsuhiko fella. Thanks for posting it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
These are the terms below, have they been changed?:

Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by javaman
So much for EA changing. Only thing they changed was into a second rate activison (who's games I currently boycott). Was looking forward to getting BF3 but guess I won't risk it and just avoid. I'm already pissed at them getting kicked off steam and its probably because Valve didn't allow this sort of practice.
Who wants to bet mass effect 3 will be the same?

They didn't get kicked off Steam. They refused to use Steam thanks to Valve's policies on DLC. Policies which can be proven to exist due to the fact they have also caused the developer of Minecraft to refuse to use Steam to sell Minecraft. As for whatever "practice" you're claiming Valve wouldn't allow them to do you should take a look at the post Baz has posted which does a great job of explaining what Origin actually does in terms of accessing your PC.
Sensei 2nd November 2011, 12:59 Quote
Care to post the new Terms or an official link please?
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 13:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
Care to post the new Terms or an official link please?

http://eacom.s3.amazonaws.com/EULA_Origin_9.16.11.pdf
Paradigm Shifter 2nd November 2011, 13:18 Quote
The problem is, unlike Steam, which only scans your computer if you ask it to - either to add non-Steam games to your list, or by taking part in the Steam hardware survey - Origin appears to scan your system during installation at sends information based on what it finds, before it's even shown you the EULA which tells you that it will do so.

So it fits pretty solidly into my definition of malware/spyware - doing something I potentially don't want it to do, before it's even asked me, potentially resulting in a privacy violation.

Also, if EA want to calm this storm, I would suggest that they tell us exactly what Origin uploads - and to whom. Of course, that would only calm the storm if Origins data uploads are completely benign... and given EA's reticence to detail what Origin is doing and who it's giving data to... I can understand the concern.

...

While Sandboxing might work, how effective is it?
Sensei 2nd November 2011, 13:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
Care to post the new Terms or an official link please?

http://eacom.s3.amazonaws.com/EULA_Origin_9.16.11.pdf

Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it still is not clear what Applications and Software it monitors. Its all rather vague and my trust in EA is pretty low since this all started. Until things become clearer I'll not be installing anything requiring Origin.
CashMoney 2nd November 2011, 13:25 Quote
Not really all that worried about Origin and my privacy personally as I keep the images of EA's CEO and I with the whipped cream, diving helmet and the pumpkin on my other PC. I know I should be, but I like the game too much so I put Origin in a sandbox and have at it.

That said, battlelog is awful; tired of having to disable my virus scanners web shield to play online, don't like the stupid limit of 150 servers in the browser, the rubbish filters (why would I want to look for empty or full servers? shouldn't I be looking for NOT empty or NOT full servers?), the way I can only get a multiplayer game via the quick match function which means I'll end up anywhere reducing my online experience to the same selection process as a console - if I search the other way, all the servers are already full or will be by the time I try them. Thank god I don't have my own server; I'd never find it.

Despite the privacy concerns, despite the fact I'm not usually in to "war" games (where are my lasers with robot sharks attached?) and despite battlelog turning out to be worse than I thought it would be, once I'm actually playing I don't care :) I just stick Origin in a Sandboxie Sandbox, you can create a batch file or a bookmark/favourite to run Battlelog from if you don't want to interact/see Origin after it's running in the background. So I'll hang my head with shame like runadumb and keep playing :(
Shayper09 2nd November 2011, 13:26 Quote
Christ, didn't realise so many of you were 12.

"I WON'T BE BUYING THIS GAME BECAUSE BLAH BLAH AND BLAH."

Honestly, who cares? It's a fantastic game, and if origin (which I think is on a par with steam) wants to scan my hard drive so that I can have my games in one place then go for it. I have nothing to hide, and I delete any personal data as soon as I don't need it.

If you are going to deprive yourself of arguably the game of the year then good for you. But it's pointless whining about it, because the rest of us are too busy having fun.
B1GBUD 2nd November 2011, 13:28 Quote
1 - Pitches up Tin Foil Hat Stand outside EA HQ
2 - Shows EULA to potential BF3 players
3 - ?????
4 - Profit!!
Sensei 2nd November 2011, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayper09
Christ, didn't realise so many of you were 12.

"I WON'T BE BUYING THIS GAME BECAUSE BLAH BLAH AND BLAH."

Honestly, who cares? It's a fantastic game, and if origin (which I think is on a par with steam) wants to scan my hard drive so that I can have my games in one place then go for it. I have nothing to hide, and I delete any personal data as soon as I don't need it.

If you are going to deprive yourself of arguably the game of the year then good for you. But it's pointless whining about it, because the rest of us are too busy having fun.

If youre not interested in this matter then why are you on a blog regarding the subject?
An Im a 37 year old IT professional who worries whether some creepo data analyst at EA will be able to trawl through the pics of my kids that are stored on my pc or be able to access any of my bank data also on there. For me, its an important subject that needs to be clarified as I do want to actually play this game. Sorry if our concerns annoy you.
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it still is not clear what Applications and Software it monitors. Its all rather vague and my trust in EA is pretty low since this all started. Until things become clearer I'll not be installing anything requiring Origin.

What exactly are you expecting? A specific list of the software that it'll look at?

And to be honest, given that there's no evidence that EA have actually spied on anyone and that this whole thing appears to be nothing more than a storm in a teacup how exactly has it caused your trust in EA to drop?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
An Im a 37 year old IT professional who worries whether some creepo data analyst at EA will be able to trawl through the pics of my kids that are stored on my pc or be able to access any of my bank data also on there.

They won't. I'm not being funny but it's not that hard to keep track of what an application is doing on your PC. There's plenty of tools to allow you to do it. How long do you think it'd take to discover that Origin was in fact scanning files like that and uploading them to EA? And how much damage it'd do to the company if they were in fact doing that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
For me, its an important subject that needs to be clarified as I do want to actually play this game. Sorry if our concerns annoy you.

The problem is the concerns only exist due to ridiculous sensationalised news reports that were based on nothing more than some guy's interpretation of a EULA. A EULA which has since been changed to clarify that EA have no desire/interest in spying on you. There hasn't been anything to support the claim that Origin is doing anything more than what it's designed to do, i.e. be an online content delivery platform/DRM tool.
smc8788 2nd November 2011, 13:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
So being forced to install Origin is bad but it'd be fine if people were forced to install Steam instead?

For me, yeah. Because Steam works and it is my digital distribution platform of choice. I don't expect you to agree and I know it will be different for everyone (some people prefer other DD sites, others only like to buy boxed retail copies), but for me, it's not something I'm not comfortable with.

To Origin thing alone probably isn't a dealbreaker though, but everything combined makes it a rather unattractive package.
Roskoken 2nd November 2011, 13:35 Quote
EA will make vast profits from harvesting this data for marketing purposes. Dont really care about there spyware myself, it is no way going to affect the day to day running of life.

My only concern is this information is worth money, and I'm giving it to EA for free. They should have an opt in policy, for those willing to hand over there personal computing habits should have the game discounted. Those not should pay full retail and get a free tin foil hat.
Sensei 2nd November 2011, 13:37 Quote
Different sites are posting different stories Krazeh, and to be honest, its confusing the hell out of me as I dont know what to believe so the safest thing for me is to miss out on a great game and not install it for now.
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 13:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
EA will make vast profits from harvesting this data for marketing purposes.

What is "this data" exactly?
Arkanrais 2nd November 2011, 13:40 Quote
I recall reading on a PCGamer article thread that EA reserve the right to log 'non anonymous" data onto their systems if they discover anything they deem suspicious on your system, like cracks or pirated software. They also reserver the right to prosecute you for anything they find that violated the EULA or piracy laws.

Now, I for one don't want some legal troubles cause I have a noCD crack on old NFS games or for having torrented versions of ea games I own but have broken discs or they've been lost/stolen. I think I'll go uninstall origin now. Shame I downloaded but never got aroud to playing the BF3 beta. Doesnt look like I'll be buying anything that requires origin either.
Even if the paragraph above turns out to be false, I still don't trust EA even with standard EULA's when it comes to gathering any of my data. They don't have a good track record on not being pricks, and the less companies poking around my PC, the better.

Also, yes I have things to hide on my PC, but so do a lot of other people, so the "if you've got nothing to hide, then there's nothing to worry about" argument can GTFO.
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 13:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
Different sites are posting different stories Krazeh, and to be honest, its confusing the hell out of me as I dont know what to believe so the safest thing for me is to miss out on a great game and not install it for now.

Have any examples? Any of them actually backed up with proper proof showing Origin actually accessing the contents of files that have nothing to do with it and then uploading said content to EA? Or are they all based on interpretations of the EULA or people's misunderstanding of what tools like procmon are actually showing them?
Roskoken 2nd November 2011, 13:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
EA will make vast profits from harvesting this data for marketing purposes.

What is "this data" exactly?

I imagine it is the data they specify in the EULA

EA have become very diverse as of late in collecting user preferences and habits, especially since they make so much money of face book punting data for market research.
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 13:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
I imagine it is the data they specify in the EULA

EA have become very diverse as of late in collecting user preferences and habits, especially since they make so much money of face book punting data for market research.

You mean the same sort of data that most companies tend to collect about their customers then?
Ending Credits 2nd November 2011, 13:55 Quote
The sad thing is Steam probably does more snooping than origin.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
EA will make vast profits from harvesting this data for marketing purposes. Dont really care about there spyware myself, it is no way going to affect the day to day running of life.
I don't think they can even do this.
Roskoken 2nd November 2011, 13:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
I imagine it is the data they specify in the EULA

EA have become very diverse as of late in collecting user preferences and habits, especially since they make so much money of face book punting data for market research.

You mean the same sort of data that most companies tend to collect about their customers then?

Undoubtedly so, however savvy people by and large have many options available to them to prevent most companies getting any more than an email address or the odd phone number. I guess many people find this method a little too personal.

If i go to Tesco to get my weekly shop, but in doing so i have to agree that a Tesco employee comes into my home to take photos of the contents of my fridge, freezer and every room of my house. Would i be willing to shop at Tesco?, probably not. So why should it be any different for a PC?
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 14:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
If i go to Tesco to get my weekly shop, but in doing so i have to agree that a Tesco employee comes into my home to take photos of the contents of my fridge, freezer and every room of my house. Would i be willing to shop at Tesco?, probably not. So why should it be any different for a PC?

And when exactly is something like that happening on your PC?
B1GBUD 2nd November 2011, 14:09 Quote
If you shop at Tesco's and use a club card, they already have a pretty good idea whats in your fridge/freezer/medication cabinet....
Sensei 2nd November 2011, 14:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh

Have any examples? Any of them actually backed up with proper proof showing Origin actually accessing the contents of files that have nothing to do with it and then uploading said content to EA? Or are they all based on interpretations of the EULA or people's misunderstanding of what tools like procmon are actually showing them?

Well this particular thread for one is highlighting the typical concerns surrounding Origin.
Can you answer this question?
Why are EA intersted in having access to applications or any other data that is on my pc that has nothing to do with the game? Why put this in your Terms?
Roskoken 2nd November 2011, 14:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
If i go to Tesco to get my weekly shop, but in doing so i have to agree that a Tesco employee comes into my home to take photos of the contents of my fridge, freezer and every room of my house. Would i be willing to shop at Tesco?, probably not. So why should it be any different for a PC?

And when exactly is something like that happening on your PC?

When EA force buyers into a position where they must allow

EA 'and partners' to "gather, use, store and transmit technical" on "IP addresses, usage data, software, equipment, software usage and existing hardware peripherals" for "marketing purposes".

Its really all down to personal choice as far as im concerned. The deal is, they make a game, i buy it, thats that, they make money, i have fun and every ones a winner.

But apparently not. I see that as a slight breach of trust here, as apparently im not just buying a game to enjoy, im being forced, and thats pretty much the problem, im being forced to adhere too something I probably would not be voluntarily part off.

Forcing being to be part of something they would not normaly be party too is always going to cause resent meant, no matter how inconsequential it is.
Redbeaver 2nd November 2011, 14:17 Quote
So bottomline is, some people can't afford having Origin scanning their harddrive. And for that, they're willing to forego playing Battlefield 3.

That's it.

Well, I say good for them. who am I to persuade them to give their data to Origin?

I'd rather play more rounds of BF3 than argue that ;)
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 14:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
Well this particular thread for one is highlighting the typical concerns surrounding Origin.
Can you answer this question?
Why are EA intersted in having access to applications or any other data that is on my pc that has nothing to do with the game? Why put this in your Terms?

Where does the EULA say that EA have any interest in having access to applications or any other data on your PC that has nothing to do with the game? Or indeed that's what they're doing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
When EA force buyers into a position where they must allow

EA 'and partners' to "gather, use, store and transmit technical" on "IP addresses, usage data, software, equipment, software usage and existing hardware peripherals" for "marketing purposes".

Its really all down to personal choice as far as im concerned. The deal is, they make a game, i buy it, thats that, they make money, i have fun and every ones a winner.

But apparently not. I see that as a slight breach of trust here, as apparently im not just buying a game to enjoy, im being forced, and thats pretty much the problem, im being forced to adhere too something I probably would not be voluntarily part off.

Forcing being to be part of something they would not normaly be party too is always going to cause resent meant, no matter how inconsequential it is.

Firstly can we stop using what was said in a now defunct EULA as a basis for claims about what EA and Origin are doing on our PCs? Secondly could we try basing claims on what Origin is actually doing as opposed to what someone thinks it might be doing because of the way they've decided to interpret a now defunct EULA?
Sensei 2nd November 2011, 14:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
Where does the EULA say that EA have any interest in having access to applications or any other data on your PC that has nothing to do with the game? Or indeed that's what they're doing?

Right here. It does not clearly state whether it refers to general applications or EA specific Origin software.
This is taken from the link you posted earlier, and it is this which I find unclear.
I dont care about my IP and stuff as its all relevant and needed to play the game online, what gets me is the last 2 lines.

The non-personally identifiable information that EA
collects includes technical and related information that identifies your computer
(including the Internet Protocol Address) and operating system, as well as
information about your Application usage (including but not limited to successful
installation and/or removal), software, software usage and peripheral hardware.
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 14:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sensei
Right here. It does not clearly state whether it refers to general applications or EA specific Origin software.
This is taken from the link you posted earlier, and it is this which I find unclear.
I dont care about my IP and stuff as its all relevant and needed to play the game online, what gets me is the last 2 lines.

The non-personally identifiable information that EA
collects includes technical and related information that identifies your computer
(including the Internet Protocol Address) and operating system, as well as
information about your Application usage (including but not limited to successful
installation and/or removal), software, software usage and peripheral hardware.

Application refers to Origin. And you're right that it doesn't give specifics about the software but how would you expect them to do that? Update the EULA everytime a new game is released on Origin? And where does that leave them when they need to collect data for things like bug/crash reports?

It's no different to Steam which has provisions in it's user agreement to allow it to identify software or hardware processes that allow you to cheat or to include details of other software and hardware in automated bug reports. It's simply not possible to be explicit about what software or hardware details will be included because every PC is different.
Zurechial 2nd November 2011, 15:20 Quote
The simple fact of the matter is that I don't trust EA and I don't feel that Origin should be doing anything outside of what it needs to for me to run Battlefield 3.
Like many people, I'd prefer if I didn't have to run Origin at all and the fact that people have been able to play the game online without Origin by using a crack suggests to me that Origin is necessary only because EA want it to be - Because EA want us all running it either for reasons of marketing and mindshare or so that they can observe what software we've got installed.

For that reason, I run it Sandboxed. Paranoid, tinfoil hat, whatever. It's pretty hard to get your rights back when you willingly give them up for the sake of playing a game and I'm an extremely private person to begin with.

It took me about 30 minutes to get Origin, BF3 and Battelog all working under a Sandbox and since then it's been working flawlessly for me while still giving me peace of mind that EA aren't getting any more information about me from my system than they need to for BF3 to work.

It doesn't bother me much if apologists, fanboys and people with little regard for their own privacy think I'm a fool. The end result is that I get to enjoy BF3 and maintain my privacy for the sake of a half an hour's work.
LJF 2nd November 2011, 15:35 Quote
Reading terms and conditions, eula's and other such tripe is for cowards anyway. Much like reading instructions when building flat pack furniture and cooking to recipes. Cowards.

I find it truly astounding as to how many people are up in arms about this. If you really cared that much about your super secret personal data why not keep it on an external drive and keep it disconnected until you need it?
sotu1 2nd November 2011, 15:38 Quote
Meh. See you at Caspian when you're done whinging.
Zurechial 2nd November 2011, 15:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJF
If you really cared that much about your super secret personal data why not keep it on an external drive and keep it disconnected until you need it?

It doesn't have to be super-secret for someone to reasonably not want a company like EA sniffing around in it; and the reason 'why not' is because nobody should have to.

You may not see why people are up in arms about this, and I don't see why you couldn't accept that other people might be more protective of their privacy and rights than you are.
You may not care - Why try to demean the people who do?
Krazeh 2nd November 2011, 15:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
It doesn't have to be super-secret for someone to reasonably not want a company like EA sniffing around in it; and the reason 'why not' is because nobody should have to.

You may not see why people are up in arms about this, and I don't see why you couldn't accept that other people might be more protective of their privacy and rights than you are.

The only problem I have with people being up in arms about it is that it's all based on nothing. Present some credible evidence of Origin scanning and uploading the content of files that have sod all to do with it or any of the software running through it and I'll happily climb onboard the "I hate EA and they're stealing all my data" bandwagon. But at the moment there isn't any evidence of that nature and it's nothing more than people getting worked up about the way an old EULA was worded.
RichCreedy 2nd November 2011, 16:15 Quote
from what i read 'the application' means origin, or games installed with origin, i suppose if you read 'the application' as any application, it sounds wrong.

i suppose they could have written something along the lines of 'i had sex with the wife' now some people would read that as 'i had sex with your wife'

how many people used ea downloader? thats all origin is but with more features
Lenderz 2nd November 2011, 17:00 Quote
yassarikhan786 2nd November 2011, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenderz
http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/lsoj6/still_thinking_eas_origin_is_harmless/c2vbjty
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/960869-battlefield-3/60145714

Sup?

I'm no fan of origin. But this whining from PC gamers (of which I'm one) is getting old.

FTFY and I agree.
damien c 2nd November 2011, 17:22 Quote
I simply think that the information that Origin collect's is mainly related to driver version's, software for Keyboard's and mice etc and also the likes of Frap's and X-Fire.

If I ever found out that EA were taking information from my pc that could mean someone could steal money from my, bank or steal my identidy etc then I simply would uninstall Origin (EA Download Manager) and stop using it for good, and then seek legal advice about it.

I seriously doubt that EA would leave themselves wide open to lawsuit's for doing that sort of thing, granted they may collect information on OS and IP but seriously it's not that hard to change your IP or OS and program's for, recording gameplay video's etc that people do.

I think this is just another way for people to say "I'm not buying the game because Origin is looking at my files on my pc that are related to the game and also to Origin".

I think this is the same thing that Valve does with Steam but, a little more detailed than Steam does.

Up to now since I have been using Origin and EA Download Manager as it was known before, I have never had anyone say to me "Oh you have pictures of this person" or "You have a illegal copy of X on your system we will report you" I don't need a tin foil hat or any conspiracy theory nut job's trying to tell me that I shouldn't play a game, because I might get spyed on, considering I am most of the time under CCTV just walking down street's and that doesn't bother me so why should this.

Most of the people have said they were not buying this game because of it not being on Steam and now, it's because they are doing the same thing as what Steam does but in more detail.

I would prefer not to have to use Origin or Steam but because I want to play the games that I play, I accept that there is some information that I can give to help them create better patches and allow companies to figure out who's hardware and software is used most, to make them better then so be it.
Sloth 2nd November 2011, 19:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
Meh. See you at Caspian when you're done whinging.
Same. My interpretation of the EULA and EA's intentions makes it seem pretty similar to Valve's hardware survey which I happily agree to.

EA's a video game publisher, the information they want is on your hardware, your usage stats for their games/Origin, and what other software you have installed. They don't care about your personal files and aren't going to open themselves up to a legal ****storm by trying to get them.
Landy_Ed 2nd November 2011, 19:48 Quote
Paragraph 1 of the EULA :
This End User License Agreement (“License”) is an agreement between you and
Electronic Arts Inc, its subsidiaries and affiliates ("EA"). This License governs
your use of this application and all related software, documentation, and updates
and upgrades that replace or supplement the application and are not distributed
with a separate license (together, the “Application”). This Application is licensed
to you free of charge. You do not own the Application.

The essense of the section which is being panicked about is covered in this, the application is the application to which the EULA applies, not any arbitrary application. Which when properly considered should clarify things.
sp4nky 2nd November 2011, 20:35 Quote
Anyway, what kind of personal information are they going to get from my PC that the Government doesn't already know and probably has already left on a CD or unencrypted laptop in Peckham?
jrs77 2nd November 2011, 20:52 Quote
I'm not playing FPS, so I couldn't care less about BF3, but....

If any company forces me to install services like Origin, Steam, Valve, Punkbuster, etc, etc, etc then I'm simply going to say: NO THANKS!

If I'm going to buy a CD/DVD/BD then I want to have the possibility to install and play the damn game without being connected to the internet. And sure I don't want any service installed that scans my PC, regardless of what type of files they're scanning with this service.

I don't trust noone
slothy89 3rd November 2011, 03:31 Quote
jrs77, if you trust no-one then why did you give bittech your info for your account? Why do you have email? Why do you have the Internet? Why do you have a phone, mobile or landline?

Anyway, if the same people pulled apart other EULA's for other software packages they would probably start crying about them too.. Can't wait to see all you boycotters playing in 3 months time just like that steam group that boycotted MW2...
Xir 3rd November 2011, 09:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
...a basis for claims about what EA and Origin are doing on our PCs?..
Nono...we're not claiming they're doing something.
...but they reserve the right to do something in the (current) EULA.

"Sign here, in the future, I may rob your house, but it's okay, I'm not doing it right now" ;)

Also: In Germany, a EULA that can be read only after the software is purchased, or is shown on Installation AFTER purchase, is not legally binding.
SaNdCrAwLeR 3rd November 2011, 10:21 Quote
*tin hat on*
This, is obviously a ploy from Valve!
Prepare as they will announce Half Life 3: Origin soon!
*tin hat off*
read the EULA yourselves, test Origin yourselves, don't act upon some dumbass' post on the internet...
seriously... it's where "Trolls abound" and all that stuff?
come on BT community... I thought you were maturer than this!
Krazeh 3rd November 2011, 10:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Nono...we're not claiming they're doing something.
...but they reserve the right to do something in the (current) EULA.

And which bit of the EULA are you figuring reserves them the right to look through my PC at will and upload whatever they want?
PQuiff 3rd November 2011, 11:14 Quote
Hovis 3rd November 2011, 12:57 Quote
What people seem to forget is that there is always going to be an immense amount of personal data on your PC, and that, as Sony have demonstrated- among others- the security of the software companies hoovering up that data is laughable. Sure folks don't have a problem with EA snarfing their data, but what happens when they get hacked and lose it all?

The bottom line is you've got to expect EA to get hacked wide open one of these days, because sooner or later it happens to everybody. So if you're going to run an un-sandboxed version of Origin on your system then you have to be confident that nothing it might find is of value to anybody. Not EA, not hackers, not anybody.
jrs77 3rd November 2011, 15:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by slothy89
jrs77, if you trust no-one then why did you give bittech your info for your account? Why do you have email? Why do you have the Internet? Why do you have a phone, mobile or landline?

Anyway, if the same people pulled apart other EULA's for other software packages they would probably start crying about them too.. Can't wait to see all you boycotters playing in 3 months time just like that steam group that boycotted MW2...

Comparing those things you mentioned to third party apps scanning my PC isn't really the same, is it?
-EVRE- 3rd November 2011, 17:33 Quote
I didnt buy the game because of Origin
sp4nky 3rd November 2011, 20:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by -EVRE-
I didnt buy the game because of Origin

I, too, didn't buy the game because of Origin. I bought it because of DICE, their previous excellent games, the good reviews and how much I enjoyed BF2.

I love BF3 and I'm glad I bought it.
rayson 4th November 2011, 09:55 Quote
i don't care . just gonna enjoy bf3.
Xir 4th November 2011, 10:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
And which bit of the EULA are you figuring reserves them the right to look through my PC at will and upload whatever they want?
Bweh...look yourself but:

EULA 9.16.11

Sections 1.C and 2 below describe the data EA may collect and use in the
course of providing services and support to you in connection with the
Application.

excerp from 1CYou acknowledge and agree that the Application may use information
regarding your computer, hardware, media, software
and your use of the
Application to validate your license rights and to update the Application.

there it is. All your software and media and hardware MAY be collected and used.
Again, I'm not saying they're using this clause at the moment.

I also know this is probably not what they MEAN, but it is what it says.
I think* it's harmless and it may mean they gotta check for their own software, and your drivers and settings, and look for cheating software.

*I'm not EA, I cannot know, can you?
Arkanrais 4th November 2011, 16:32 Quote
Scenario: some time down the line, origins servers get hacked and said hackers begin harvesting personal data from myriad PCs and/or origin's database.

Like I have previously said; "The less companies poking around my PC, the better." I don't care as much that origin may snoop through my software and send me angry letters about cracked games, but about what happens when hands even dirtier than EA's manage to take personal information.

The less companies and organisations that have any personal info on you, the less likely of having that info turn up in unsavory places.
Krazeh 4th November 2011, 16:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanrais
Scenario: some time down the line, origins servers get hacked and said hackers begin harvesting personal data from myriad PCs and/or origin's database.

Like I have previously said; "The less companies poking around my PC, the better." I don't care as much that origin may snoop through my software and send me angry letters about cracked games, but about what happens when hands even dirtier than EA's manage to take personal information.

The less companies and organisations that have any personal info on you, the less likely of having that info turn up in unsavory places.

How does hacking the Origin servers lead to you being able to harvest personal data from PCs directly? I can see them being able to access data already held on the servers but that's it. And it again all comes back to what EA are actually holding on you beyond what you have provided thru your own volition. I've still not seen any credible reason to suspect they're harvesting anything from customer's PCs beyond that would be reasonably expected when using a program such as Origin.
fodder 4th November 2011, 17:28 Quote
Steam collects data on the hardware it is installed on, but the big difference is it asks you specifically first and informs you at the time it is doing it, then shows you what it is going to collect before you ok it. This information is then publicly available as the statistics showing the percentages of hardware used by steam users.

IMHO this is the CORRECT way to do it. EA is basically saying you HAVE to do it to play the game and you won't see the details being reported. Corporate bosses need to learn more about transparency engendering trust.
thehippoz 4th November 2011, 17:38 Quote
they might find my midget picture stash
AstralWanderer 4th November 2011, 22:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayper09
...Honestly, who cares? It's a fantastic game, and if origin (which I think is on a par with steam) wants to scan my hard drive so that I can have my games in one place then go for it. I have nothing to hide, and I delete any personal data as soon as I don't need it.
There are plenty of other "fantastic" games out there which don't pose a risk to your privacy, and it makes more sense to support developers and publishers that respect your individual and consumer rights rather than handing your cash to those who see you as no more than an exploitable resource. Make no mistake - if EA think they can get away with small violations of privacy, they will escalate to larger ones.

As to having "nothing to hide" - you, sir, are either being naive (try looking at your webpage history through a stranger's eyes and see how much information you can infer from it - or consider the effect incorrect data or a processing error could have) or a complete non-entity who buys nothing, views nothing and posts nothing online.

As far as Steam is concerned, similar concerns should apply - Valve's EULA is similar in many respects (see section 5) but without the marketing/third party data transfer provisions.
unikey 5th November 2011, 03:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shayper09
Christ, didn't realise so many of you were 12.

"I WON'T BE BUYING THIS GAME BECAUSE BLAH BLAH AND BLAH."

Honestly, who cares? It's a fantastic game, and if origin (which I think is on a par with steam) wants to scan my hard drive so that I can have my games in one place then go for it. I have nothing to hide, and I delete any personal data as soon as I don't need it.

If you are going to deprive yourself of arguably the game of the year then good for you. But it's pointless whining about it, because the rest of us are too busy having fun.

As you have nothing to hide when can I install CCTV inside your house and perhaps you would like to provide all your logins passwords and bank details as these don't need to be kept private either.
Personally I am fed up of DRM meaning the paying customer gets a worse service than a pirate, So I no longer pay for games with DRM I don't like (yes that includes steam) I'm not deprived of anything the only people who have lost out are EA as I haven't paid them.
G0UDG 5th November 2011, 09:28 Quote
Well thats it for me no BF3 or any other EA/DICE game that requires origin to launch and play it,Due to me currently being an anti racism/fascism campaigner I do not want my IP shared or my activity shared and monitored by EA or any other company EA wish to share that info with
Doctor Hades 5th November 2011, 23:34 Quote
What annoys me about Origin, which I have problems with for FIFA 12 which I bought on disc (but oddly enough not the Origin-free FIFA 11), is that the software is still beta/pre-release. I'm amazed that EA are getting away with forcing unfinished software on its paying customers. It that even legal?
Bede 5th November 2011, 23:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by G0UDG
Well thats it for me no BF3 or any other EA/DICE game that requires origin to launch and play it,Due to me currently being an anti racism/fascism campaigner I do not want my IP shared or my activity shared and monitored by EA or any other company EA wish to share that info with

Because anyone really gives a monkey's about your 'campaigning'. All those Illuminati racists that control the gaming world have just been looking for a way to take you down through your computer. If you're that paranoid, do what everyone else who shares your paranoia does and sandbox Origin so that it cannot access your data.
AstralWanderer 6th November 2011, 11:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
...If you're that paranoid, do what everyone else who shares your paranoia does and sandbox Origin so that it cannot access your data.
Sandboxing isn't a 100% guarantee of safety - especially on 64-bit Windows systems where security software is limited by Microsoft's Patchguard (though malware tends not to be...) as noted by Sandboxie themselves.

So the best approach with untrusted software is not to sandbox, but to boycott it. If you wish to "trust" EA, then that's your privilege but to tolerate such behaviour in a product you're paying for strikes me as utter madness.
Krazeh 6th November 2011, 12:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
If you wish to "trust" EA, then that's your privilege but to tolerate such behaviour in a product you're paying for strikes me as utter madness.

And which behaviour would this be exactly?
AstralWanderer 7th November 2011, 10:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazeh
And which behaviour would this be exactly?
Um, that discussed in this thread?
Krazeh 7th November 2011, 13:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
Um, that discussed in this thread?

None of which, aside from the wording of the EULA, has any evidence in support of the claims and appears to be nothing more than hearsay and conjecture.
Bauul 7th November 2011, 18:02 Quote
I worry to think what would happen if someone looked through the Windows 7 EULA. I'm pretty sure that's full of far worse things than the one for Origin!

I've not got BF3 yet (waiting for CPU upgrade), but I'm willing to give EA the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise.

I mean really, what is the likelihood that they'll use Origin as a secret back door to scan all your personal files? Even though they stated that the data they may look for is non-idenfiable, and no EULA overides basic Data Protection and Privacy laws. I'm pretty sure at least in the UK if EA tried to do that, a few public bodies would get involved quite quickly.
Sloth 7th November 2011, 21:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor Hades
What annoys me about Origin, which I have problems with for FIFA 12 which I bought on disc (but oddly enough not the Origin-free FIFA 11), is that the software is still beta/pre-release. I'm amazed that EA are getting away with forcing unfinished software on its paying customers. It that even legal?
Digging up this post from the shallow grave it was in: Yes, it's entirely legal.

Alpha, beta, release, pre-release, they're all just words. Would Origin somehow perform better if it was titled as release software rather than beta software? Not at all. They could easily say it's released right now without updating it. It's entirely EA's choice to call it a beta because they don't feel it's complete. The advantage of calling a product a beta is the freedom to change various aspects, nothing is set in stone. This helps lessen the blow when customers don't like a certain feature as EA can come back saying "well, this is a beta and we'll remove the feature".

If you're honestly worried about using "beta" software remember that Origin is just a modified EA Download Manager/EA Store/EA Link, not an entirely new application. All that's new and "beta", really, is the social features and pretty interface.
Bede 8th November 2011, 01:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
Sandboxing isn't a 100% guarantee of safety - especially on 64-bit Windows systems where security software is limited by Microsoft's Patchguard (though malware tends not to be...) as noted by Sandboxie themselves.

So the best approach with untrusted software is not to sandbox, but to boycott it. If you wish to "trust" EA, then that's your privilege but to tolerate such behaviour in a product you're paying for strikes me as utter madness.

As Sloth points out, no EULA or 'Privacy Policy' can override national law. EA has a great many clever lawyers, they are highly unlikely to do anything that could make them liable for a class action (or equivalent) lawsuit.
AstralWanderer 8th November 2011, 11:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bede
As Sloth points out, no EULA or 'Privacy Policy' can override national law. EA has a great many clever lawyers, they are highly unlikely to do anything that could make them liable for a class action (or equivalent) lawsuit.
US law offers little provision for privacy protection except in very specific areas (like health insurance, covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). UK privacy law at the moment can be summarised as "it's legal as long as you get a box ticked" unless you are dealing with "personally sensitive" data.

So UK data protection law wouldn't stop EA from sharing information they collected about hardware/software setup or computer usage with all and sundry (you *did* click on "Accept" when shown their EULA, right?) with the possible exception of pr0n website usage, since that could arguably be "personally sensitive".

Yes, EA will have clever lawyers - and they'll most likely be advising on every weakness and loophole they can find in an already permissive system.
Iconoclast 8th November 2011, 17:46 Quote
Of course it's spyware - duh. EA should be brought to justice and people should sue them. Germany has very stringent laws in regards to this and EA should not be immune. Blizzard is just as guilty with installing spyware on your machines as well. Why is it permissible for companies to install spyware on your machines to "make sure you're not breaking their EULA" but if an ordingary person did that they would be arrested for hacking. And don't give me some c r a p that you agree to their EULA. This is tantamount to nothing more than corporate blackmail and invasion of privacy. Sure people will say, "if that bothers you, then you don't have to play their game." I say, why should I have to be exposed to these tactics to play something I enjoy and pay good money for??
DrCruel 10th November 2011, 23:53 Quote
It's pretty obnoxious to complain about a mandatory ORIGIN download and DRM control - and then further complain that it doesn't demand a mandatory STEAM download and DRM control ...

It's like two rival factions of the Borg duking it out. A pox on both their houses.
AstralWanderer 13th November 2011, 15:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCruel
It's pretty obnoxious to complain about a mandatory ORIGIN download and DRM control - and then further complain that it doesn't demand a mandatory STEAM download and DRM control ...
Some people prefer their (digital) handcuffs in matching pairs! :D
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