"EA Origin" makes me uneasy
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23-05-2012, 07:06 PM
"EA Origin" makes me uneasy
Hello, Community. There will be a short summary at the bottom for those who don't like being greeted by a wall of text Wink

I'm getting a new graphics card sometime this week and I want to, as you often do after getting new hardware, to play a really spectacular game. Now obviously "Battlefield 3" springs to mind, it seems like a very good game and one worth my money. But I've been putting it off because of "Origin"
The problem is: I don't trust EA.
After the whole "EA Origin spies on you"-debacle, and after hearing all kinds of differing accounts of how they had reworked the EULA for "Origin", I thought the only sensible thing would be for me to read it myself.

At first glance it looked like any old EULA; the normal legal lip-wagging trying to cover every single scenario possible (unambiguity is important here). But just in the first section, regarding the "license validation" of applications, I get this:

Quote:"1. C
You 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."
I don't really get why they need legal rights to access information on my "hardware, media, software" to validate my licenses.
So hang on, where's the part where they changed their minds to calm everyone down?
It followed shortly after, where the legal talk has been toned down in favour of a more 'soothing' language. If you compare this little paragraph to the rest in the document, you'll see what I'm talking about. I'll try to summarize:

Quote:"2.
EA knows that you care how information about you is collected, used and
shared, and we appreciate your trust that we will do so carefully and sensibly."

Quote:"...EA
would never sell your personally identifiable information to anyone, nor would it
ever use spyware or install spyware on users’ machines."
I'm not interested in whether EA would call it "spyware" or not, I want to know what exactly they are legally allowed to do, and that's why I don't like this ambiguous non-legal language. EA also uses (or at least has the right to) "Origin" for collecting anonymous ("non-personally
identifiable
") information to improve their services. But this includes all kinds of things like the software you have installed, "technical details" (whatever that means) and even your IP-Adress. This doesn't strike me as the anonymous, statistical data that they want to make it sound like.
And finally:
Quote:"We and agents acting on our behalf do not share information that personally identifies you without your
consent, except in rare instances where disclosure is required by law or to
enforce EA’s legal rights."
I get that. And let's put aside for a moment that this is like saying: "I'll keep some of your hair and blood around in case I find out you have wronged me, or will do me wrong in the future.", I can swallow that. What makes me uneasy is the whole ambiguity of what exactly they are allowed to collect, and that there is nothing here that would indicate that they can only collect information directly pertaining to EA and their products.

So it seems to me, that EA has in fact not changed a damn thing about the End User License Agreement, but instead simply put some reassuring rambling in there, that doesn't even have any legal bearing because:
Quote:"To the extent that anything in this section conflicts or is
inconsistent with the terms of EA’s Privacy Policy, the terms of the Privacy Policy
shall control."

Now I haven't checked, so their privacy policy might be equivalent to the UN declaration of human rights, but it still reinforces my notion that this little snippet in the EULA was a pointless addendum, put in just to be able to respond to criticism.
Now, I don't expect EA to upload personal pictures from my hard drive on the internet, but I do feel like they are taking a lot of liberties with this.
Am I just over-thinking this? What are your thoughts?

Summary (TL;DR): EA's response to criticism regarding privacy issues with "Origin", is: 'Oh, c'mon! You can trust us Angel Tongue'
But I still want to play "Battlefield 3", and I'd like some input from you guys.

You can read the EULA for yourselves over here (requires "Acrobat Reader" or similar): http://eacom.s3.amazonaws.com/EULA_Origin_9.16.11.pdf

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23-05-2012, 07:34 PM
RE: "EA Origin" makes me uneasy
EA is a company I've disliked for a while. something that it appears many other gamers feel too.

Im also not happy having to login to use certain features of a game that i was robbed out of 40 fucking quid for. Why should i need to register my game, or even give them any of my details. Remember when you put a DVD into the player and then had to register it to view the deleted scenes? me either!

Day one DLC (i know EA isn't the only one but they jumped on the bandwagon pretty fast) charging you to get content that is already on the disk. Why do the feel the need to ruin everything with multiplayer. Rumour has it that dead space 3 will have a coop campaign. if true, will ruin the feel of the game. Nothing is creepy/scary when you play with a friend.

In my opinion EA represents whats wrong with gaming.
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23-05-2012, 07:52 PM
RE: "EA Origin" makes me uneasy
To be voted worse than Bank Of America in the public eye, is quite a feat.
Concerning having to log in for certain features though, I would say Ubisoft is the worst I've encountered so far. After having bought Heroes IV on Steam, I had to install Ubisofts weird we-want-to-keep-people-playing-our-games-and-our-games-only launcher client. Worst was by far though, was that if I wanted to play the singlelplayer campaign in it's entirety, I needed to create an account, and stay logged in while playing.

It doesn't make any sense; they make sure to cause as many problems as they can for the consumers, leaving them unsatisfied and in many cases annoyed with how they handle their products. So assuming they actually intend to, how exactly are they profiting from this?

By the way, if anyone uses Origin, I would appreciate a simple verdict; If it's a really good platform for distribution and easy access to multiplayer and community (like steam), I might consider it after all.

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23-05-2012, 07:54 PM
RE: "EA Origin" makes me uneasy
I really don't care if EA access my information. Not like they're gonna find anything overly important. I don't keep maps to buried treasure, blueprints for earthquake-proof buildings, or the secret to curing cancer on my computer anyway Big Grin.

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23-05-2012, 08:01 PM
RE: "EA Origin" makes me uneasy
(23-05-2012 07:54 PM)Hughsie Wrote:  I really don't care if EA access my information. Not like they're gonna find anything overly important. I don't keep maps to buried treasure, blueprints for earthquake-proof buildings, or the secret to curing cancer on my computer anyway Big Grin.
Maybe it's just a matter of principle for me. It's not that I expect them to do anything (although I wouldn't put it past them), but more that they are allowed to, and if I object I would have no say in the matter.

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24-05-2012, 02:39 AM (This post was last modified: 24-05-2012 02:44 AM by Filox.)
RE: "EA Origin" makes me uneasy
And you people are criticising me when I say how I download games from torrent sites and then crack them and play. I avoid this kind of BS with that. Smile

As for you Pelvin, it is a good thing that you do not just accept everything without reading, smart move, not like this one...

http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-epi...ancentipad

But I gotta wonder, 'cause this is a common thing, do you have Facebook or Google +1? Because if you do, then this whole thread of yours can go straight to garbage. You see, Facebook and Google collect so much information about you and you have no idea. Every picture you have ever uploaded to FAcebook, FB has the right to keep and use for their own purposes. Google keeps track (not just G +1, regular Google) of everything you do, whether you are logen on or not. FB also keeps track of every page you visit that has "LIKE" button on it and they tend to leave some "cookies" in your computer that are hidden from most of the cookie cleaners. You need special tools to remove FB and Google cookies from you computer.

A few days ago AVG antivirus have made a new version where they offer you the ability to surf untraced. When I installed it and the Mozilla ad-on for it, I immediately got the message that 2 pages were tracking me and now they are blocked. Google and Google +1.

EA isn't doing anything new, anything you are not already exposed all the time, so who cares? You either work on Linux with full protection and use proxy servers to connect to Internet, or you do not need to worry about that. There is no middle ground here. One must be into all these shits all the time to keep track of every new "statistical shit" they are all collecting...

Plus, the government wants them to keep track of you, because this way they can pay something to the company and get all sorts of data they want, and couldn't get any other way. What do you think, where does FB get most of their money? From members that have their account for free? Or all those commercials? They help, yes, but the statistical part is what's important here and it is why FB is worth billions. Not because of the members as such, but as members and their statistical data.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-epi...-0-friends

So, are you a number or a human being?

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24-05-2012, 12:01 PM
RE: "EA Origin" makes me uneasy
(24-05-2012 02:39 AM)Filox Wrote:  But I gotta wonder, 'cause this is a common thing, do you have Facebook or Google +1? Because if you do, then this whole thread of yours can go straight to garbage.
You choose your words wisely ^^

But I think I get where you're coming from; I know all this about Facebook and Google. I would never have joined Facebook if I had not been young when I did so ("why aren't people calling any more?"). I never really use Facebook for anything at all; I don't like pages, link stuff, never upload photos and only once or twice a year post something. Being an information addict, Google is just a necessary part of my life.
But your point is: Why would I trust Google (I don't trust Facebook, it was just an unfortunate weakness against peer pressure that lead me to have one in the first place) but not EA? Apart from that Google has yet to screw me over (that I'm aware of), I don't really have any basis for placing my trust in one or the other, so I can't argue with that.

I would have torrented BF3 ages ago were I not interested in the multiplayer. An important point to EA would be: I would have bought it ages ago if it wasn't so damn muddled up in DRM and Origin, regardless of interest in multiplayer. Now I'm probably just going to skip it.


Off-Topic: the South Park website doesn't seem to be working anymore. It worked just fine two days ago.

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24-05-2012, 12:39 PM
RE: "EA Origin" makes me uneasy
So far as videogame companies are concerned.... EA is the worst. I hate their guts. But it is just another company amid the horrible trend in bad videogame companies. Look at Bethesda for instance. They don't hang on to their games or add support for them almost as soon as the last download is dropped. To play older fallouts, you have to find third party software to make them work, even when you've paid for them legally. That's horse shit. Tried playing fallout 3 on my new laptop and it wouldn't go because it was incompatible. Looked for a patch and found nothing but gamers looking for a patch.
If you send questions to the company you aren't likely to hear back. For all the listening they claim to be doing.

Still I hate EA. They charge for everything.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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24-05-2012, 06:27 PM
RE: "EA Origin" makes me uneasy
(24-05-2012 12:39 PM)lucradis Wrote:  ...To play older fallouts, you have to find third party software to make them work, even when you've paid for them legally. That's horse shit.
I'm sure you've already checked this out, but I feel like I would be doing you a disservice by not sharing. Most old games aren't supported any more, for different reasons.

http://www.gog.com/
They sell games DRM free, for a reasonable price. In the past they focused mostly on releasing classics modified to work with modern day machines (hence the name: Good Old Games), but it seems they've started rolling out newer titles as well, all DRM free. Of course they still have the old classics available.
For example: http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/fallout and http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/fallout_2
It's still annoying that you would have to buy it again though.

And yes, EA seems to be such a surreptitious bunch. I would be much more at ease if they had just responded with: "It's in the EULA; Deal with it."

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24-05-2012, 06:53 PM
RE: "EA Origin" makes me uneasy
I'm glad not to be the only one who really hates EA and Origin. I wanted to buy Mass Effect 3, but wouldn't because of its dependence on Origin. Luckily, this wasn't the case in SWTOR, so I got to experience my Sith Warrior story :-D

I agree with everything in your post except for the following:

(23-05-2012 07:06 PM)Pelvin Wrote:  ...But this includes all kinds of things like the software you have installed, "technical details" (whatever that means) and even your IP-Adress. This doesn't strike me as the anonymous, statistical data that they want to make it sound like.

Whenever EULAs talk about technical details, they mean the details of your computer. This includes Operating System, Hard-drive capacity an amount available, CPU speed, GPU speed and available video RAM, system RAM... None of this is really a big deal in my eyes. The only real identifiable technical information you should be concerned about being collected is your MAC address (no, this has nothing to do with Apple). Think of your MAC address similar to your car's VIN number. This would then make your IP address like your licenses plate. Have you ever participated in any Beta programs? You're required to submit this same data in order to play/test.

Also, your IP? Really? Just by visiting these forums your IP address is being collected and stored. I'd bet it would take DeepThought less than a minute to look it up. Anytime you visit a website, the website needs to know how to send the page to you so you can view it. As I said above, this of this as your car's licenses plate. Everyone sees it, its not big secret. Just have to accept the fact that it's out there.

On a slightly related note, do you use Steam? It's pretty much the same, just a watered down version of Origin.

"The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace." -- Carlos Santana
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