I’m sure many of you are familiar with EA’s Origin client. Well it turns out that the client is actively spying on you by file snooping. This whole investigation started on Reddit and it seems to be all but true for the most part, but the big issue is, is what EA is doing is legal?
When it comes to using game clients personal privacy in a sensitive subject. With Origin spying on your usage habits that does cause some concern. What they are doing is actually actively looking at a list of programs that you are currently running and have recently ran. The screenshot below posted by Reddit user drsniper121 does not give away much at first, but the files are hidden using a ROT13 Cypher used by the Windows Registry.
So what does this mean? Well if you type in “PCSX2 1.2.1″ into this ROT13 encrypter you can see what you get. Some of the processes shown in the screenshot above decode to things like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, iTunes etc. So it seems as if EA is using the Origin client to see what other programs you are running and to collect this data. Is this legal? Well there is the below statement which is part of Origin’s Terms of Service (TOS).
So in fact if you have installed the Origin client you do agree to this. I guess the thing that bothers me and probably most of you is that EA does this in a convert, hidden from the user way. The information that EA / Origin collects is listed as non identifiable personal information and EA can share this information with third parties.
So I guess what we have to take away from this is that EA thinks it is perfectly ok to collect our “non identifiable Personal information”, which is anything that isn’t your name, address, phone #, SSN, or DOB and sell it to third parties.