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EA Revises Origin's EULA to Make it Sound Decidedly Less Sinister

New terms aim to make it excruciatingly clear that EA doesn't want to steal your personal data.

I think we're good now, everyone.

After the outrage over the last few days regarding EA's Origin service, its EULA--which, at one point, made it sound like EA was collecting a great deal of user information and reserving the right to willingly distribute it to unnamed partner third parties--and the distinct lack of an opt-out feature for any of its apparent data mining activities, EA has responded by apparently updating its EULA to rephrase any and all references to data collection in such a way as to not make it sound quite as insidious as before.

The new EULA, posted on August 24th (and brought to my attention by GB user Commisar), addresses data collection with the following language:

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. Information about our customers is an important part of our business, and EA would never sell your personally identifiable information to anyone, nor would it ever use spyware or install spyware on users’ machines. We and agents acting 37683v1 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.

In addition to information that you give EA directly, EA collects nonpersonally identifiable (or anonymous) information for purposes of improving our products and services, providing services to you, facilitating the provision of software updates, dynamically served content and product support as well as communicating with you. 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.

As noted above, this information is gathered periodically for purposes such as improving our products and services, troubleshooting bugs, and otherwise enhancing your user experience. 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 or is inconsistent with the terms of EA’s Privacy Policy, the terms of the Privacy Policy shall control.

The original EULA can still be found here, if you want to check for comparison's sake. While the fact that you still can't opt out of any data collection whatsoever is still a bit troubling, the changes here are definitely a huge improvement over the murky and downright hostile language that was previously posted. So what say you, Giant Bomb community? Are you satiated by the changes EA has made?

Alex Navarro on Google+
121 Comments
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Posted by ShoddyGo

make the collection of data opt-in or you can back the fuck off EA
i uninstalled origin because of this shit and I don't plan to get it back any time soon.

Posted by AttroPheed
I was kind of on the fence but now I don't think I need the 19th (according to wikipedia) version of Battlefield enough to justify installing a download service that mines my data without my permission and only sells partially complete (thanks to the miracle of DLC) EA sequels.  Not to mention whatever shenanigans got it booted off of Steam.
Posted by Chris_B

I hope EA sort this mess out befor ME3. Its the only game that will make me install Origin.

Posted by Brodehouse

@YukoAsho said:

@Paul_Is_Drunk said:
This is definitely the year of gaming companies acting stupid. Ubisoft with their DRM, Gamestop with their policies, and EA with just about every single thing they do - from banning people from playing games they already purchased to this. Oh, and Blizzard trying to follow Ubisoft's always-on DRM policy. Did someone spike their Kool-Aid?
And funny how the only company that isn't doing that, Activision (let's face it, WoW has given Blizzard total autonomy), is the most vilified company in the industry because... Their games are popular. We as a fandom need to pick our enemies better.

Actually, Activision is vilified because of how they treat their developers. Activision has policies which are actually harmful for the long-term growth of the industry, and for the people designing the games you love.

I'm not surprised that people have chosen EA to demonize for doing the same thing everyone in the world does. I'm sure Giant Bomb can tell you what browser and OS you're using, and which pages are viewed the most, viewed the longest. It makes sense, they want to know what's most popular and what to focus their work on. I guess we're going to uninstall our Giant Bomb iPhone apps and curse their undying names. EA wants to know how powerful the average user's computer is (so they can suggest targets for their devs), they want to know what percentage of people use a 360 controller when playing Mass Effect 2, or a racing wheel playing Shift 2. As long as I don't have to actually answer any survey, I don't care, go ahead.

Posted by PenguinDust

I usually assume that most services are data mining me, so I wasn't aghast at the previous EULA, but this one does sound nicer even if nothing really seems to have changed.  I just don't really want yet another doo-hickey running on my PC all the time. 

Posted by Thuki

I think all this is very unfortunate. I don't like all the steam fanboys who can't see the issue with steam having almost all the market for digital distrubution. Steam has many problems but is seems like no one cares. I'm hoping origin can be a competitor but only selling EA games might not be a strong enough offer for people I think people just want to have all games available in one service.

Posted by echo13791

I don't care how bad Origin is, nothing will keep me from playing BF3 on my PC. I was the biggest fan of BF2 and have been waiting for this for such a long time!

Posted by H7O

"except in rare instances where disclosure is required by law or to enforce EA’s legal rights" <== brings it back to where it was, but with prettier language.

Posted by BoneChompski

@Thuki said:

I think all this is very unfortunate. I don't like all the steam fanboys who can't see the issue with steam having almost all the market for digital distrubution. Steam has many problems but is seems like no one cares. I'm hoping origin can be a competitor but only selling EA games might not be a strong enough offer for people I think people just want to have all games available in one service.

I'm not agreed that Steam has many problems. Anyone care to elaborate on these problems?

Posted by Irvandus
@QKT said:
i still get the feeling they'll watch me watch porn....
That's right and you can't escape it because Origin is everywhere!
Posted by BawlZINmotion

Every single company engages in these sort of practices. Some are just craftier about it than others. If you haven't already put all your information on the Internet, someone else has. If Origin hasn't taken it, I bet your car dealership did. Or your ISP. Or your grocer when you paid credit for those burritos last week. Anytime you fill a form with personal information you can bet your ass they're going to use it. Maybe Steam lets you opt out of such things, but the majority of services you buy and transactions you make do not. Most people just do not care. 

Posted by Evilmetal
@Chainblast said:

Every single company engages in these sort of practices. Some are just craftier about it than others. If you haven't already put all your information on the Internet, someone else has. If Origin hasn't taken it, I bet your car dealership did. Or your ISP. Or your grocer when you paid credit for those burritos last week. Anytime you fill a form with personal information you can bet your ass they're going to use it. Maybe Steam lets you opt out of such things, but the majority of services you buy and transactions you make do not. Most people just do not care. 

the Overton Window in action, eh?
Posted by raikoh05

I still want an opt out option

Posted by XxRANGAxX

if this means that when you buy Battlefield 3 on PC you MUST register it with origin then i think i might just stay with it on xbox, untill there becomes an opt out option for the data collection on origin...

Posted by GNCD

this doesn't change anything. you still can't decline and play the game.

Posted by WickedCobra03

I am not even sure why EA thinks they are going to go anywhere with this service where in the past 10 yeqra their service has been a disjointed mess of seperate accounts and services. Imo, this is Origin service is more for their benefit than the actual consumers.

At the moment, EA has really pushed me over the edge in leaning towards buying the Playstation 3 version of Battlefield 3 rather than buying the PC version which I had every intention of before this crap came up... At least they won't be able to push this crappy Origin service as hard on consoles as they have on PC so far!

Posted by Napalm

I never found the original EULA that intrusive, but EA being demonized as the only company who would gather your information is probably one of the funniest fucking things the Internet has ever done.

Posted by vidiot

So what say you, Giant Bomb community? Are you satiated by the changes EA has made?

No.
There was this really interesting opinion making the rounds at PAX that we should be comparing Origin to the early days of Steam, how every new digital distribution service has growing pains.
 
I found the Steam comparison incredibly problematic though. There was nothing to compare Steam to at the time, plus unlike Origin: I remember small fractions of actual good news regarding the service when it was first being kicked around. That hasn't happened to Origin...At all. I've been completely turned-off by this thing. I haven't read a single thing that might interest me into actually giving this thing a try. It's infuriating that their flagship title on the PC is stricken with this half-baked idea. Hopefully there will be a way to get rid of it if you want to play Battlefield 3.
Posted by Thuki
@Matthew
Well they are just trying to explain that they are not going to seel you information to make money and I belive that all this is not to end up being sued by some asholes. And I don't think most people using steam bother to opt out theese things I don't so why would I care that I can't in origin.  
 
Just a side note do you really need a new computer for diablo 3? it's not even a very good looking game. I doubt you will need a high end computer to max out that game. 
Edited by Tennmuerti

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.

Not good enough.

Posted by Mausimo

I'm going to cancel my pre-order. Origin can lick my b***s. Put it on Steam or don't get my money.