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Giant Bomb News


EA's Origin Service Is Basically Spyware, According to Origin's EULA

Agreeing to Origin's TOS effectively gives EA permission to track all manner of bizarre information about your computing habits, and sell them to third parties.

Because today's trifecta of corporate malfeasance and/or generally shitty behavior wouldn't be complete without mentioning something awful EA is doing, let's talk about Origin again. Specifically, how it apparently includes spyware.

You guys? We REALLY need to start reading these EULAs ahead of time.
You guys? We REALLY need to start reading these EULAs ahead of time.

Once again reminding us all that we really ought to be reading these terms of service that we so often blindly agree to, intrepid users of Origin have discovered within EA's End User License Agreement for the service that, by installing the software on the system and using it, you are giving EA full license to track a number of different things on your computer, including, but not limited to personal information, computer information, application usage, software, software usage, and peripheral hardware usage. The reason for all of this is for the usual "marketing purposes" and "to improve our products and services" nonsense, but the EULA also states that EA will happily sell your information to any third parties it sees fit.

It's fair to point out that Valve's Steam service also does some of the things listed here when you use it. However, the trick is that Steam allows users to opt out of any and all such practices. Origin has no such opt-out feature, and in fact states that you cannot use the service at all unless you agree to their terms.

That does present quite the quandary for the information protective gamers out there who might want to play a game like, say, Battlefield 3 on their PC. Battlefield 3, alongside other EA PC titles, will require an install of Origin to operate, even if you buy a physical copy of the game.

In the end, this is actually a fairly fixable problem for EA. The publisher would simply need to patch in an opt-out option for any and all info scraping that Origin might be involved in. If it doesn't? Here's a deeply enraged Reddit thread that you might want to partake of.

Alex Navarro on Google+