EA’s Origin EULA Hides Data Mining Clause

As reported by Rock, Paper, Shotgun, some astute Escapist forum users have noticed an interesting clause in EA's Origin End-User License agreement that basically give the company carte blanche to collect and use data from your PC. From section 2 of the EULA:

2. Consent to Collection and Use of Data.
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.

AS RPS's John Walker notes, Steam's privacy statement certainly has something to say about its right to collect data as well:

"store information on a user’s hard drive that is used in conjunction with online play of Valve products. This includes a unique authorization key or CD-Key that is either entered by the user or downloaded automatically during product registration. This authorization key is used to identify a user as valid and allow access to Valve’s products. Information regarding Steam billing, your Steam account, your Internet connection and the Valve software installed on your computer are uploaded to the server in connection with your use of Steam and Valve software."

Steam also reserves the right to use – at its discretion – information related to what you do on their service. From Section 7 of the Steam Subscriber Agreement:

7. USER GENERATED INFORMATION
"User Generated Information" means any information made available to other users through your use of multi-user features of Steam or to Valve through your use of the Software. User Generated Information may include, but is not limited to, chat, forum posts, screen names, game selections, player performances, usage data, suggestions about Valve products or services, and error notifications. Subject to the Valve privacy policy referenced in Section 1 above, as applicable, you expressly grant Valve the complete and irrevocable right to use, reproduce, modify, create derivative works from, distribute, transmit, broadcast, and otherwise communicate, and publicly display and perform the User Generated Information and derivative works thereof in any form, anywhere, with or without attribution to you, and without any notice or compensation to you of any kind."

The difference between what Steam claims it can collect for data and what Origin wants to collect is remarkably different; EA isn't just data mining stuff related to Origin, it's claiming the right to gather information on your PC and do with it what it likes.

EA has not publicly responded to this story.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

Leave a Reply