EA changes Origin EULA

Publisher removes marketing language from online store's license agreement, pledges to never sell personal information or install spyware on customers' machines.

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Earlier this week, Electronic Arts became a subject of controversy after customers took exception to the end-user license agreement in the publisher's Origin downloadable game service. While EA did not return requests for comment at the time, it did amend the EULA in question in ways that may address some of the users' concerns.

EA has revised its Origin EULA.

The newest Origin EULA (which went into effect on Wednesday) specifically addresses some privacy concerns in the section "Consent to collection and use of data."

According to the current agreement, "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 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."

While the wording on collecting information about a user's computer, operating system, software, and software usage remains mostly intact, another clause from the agreement no longer appears. That now-omitted line originally stated, "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." In fact, the new EULA makes no mention of marketing at all.

The third section in the EULA, "Application communications and conduct/privacy settings," has also changed considerably. It no longer includes wording that "EA reserves the right to monitor communications on the Application and disclose any information EA deems necessary," nor does it specify that if users don't agree to EA's collection, they shouldn't install the application.

EA has run into privacy concerns in the past. Most notably, in 2006 the publisher first revealed that it had begun collecting users' data as a way to target and deliver in-game advertisements to players.

Discussion

179 comments
obenns
obenns

EA have ruined another great title. To all the game industry companies, stop giving us all this bull we don't need! We don't want steam, xfire, raptr, windows live games, rockstar social club or this new spyware named origin. GET OUT!

jellyman68
jellyman68

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Shaon94
Shaon94

I bet all of you complaining have Steam on your computer. Steam does all the same things Origin does, and in the beginning had all the same complaints said about it. *hands all the crazy's their tin foil hats*

SPBoss
SPBoss

I just cancelled my order from Amazon, most people will probably end up pirating as this game is a huge release.. the mass order cancellations are solely due to EA's Origin. Thumb me down all you like but I dont wan't my data to be so easy to access and neither do others.

marvsta
marvsta

looks like i,ll be going up the leaderboards quicker than expected with all you so called non buyers of BF3, lol.

ballenboy
ballenboy

I was just going to install Origins and try out the BF3 Beta when I stumbled upon articles on the Origin EULA. Dodged a bullet there. I am never going to install Origins or buy BF3. I am hoping the whole origin endeavour falls apart. Now I may just go and buy MW3 instead. DAMN you EA!

fillup0
fillup0

@DNM1 They didn't fix any issues you conformist fool, all they did was gloss over the EULA to make it look as though they cleaned up their act. The rules about only being able to re download a game for the first year and games being terminated if you don't play them for two years still applies. I would be all for Origin if it didn't act as spyware and delete the games I purchased.

daedalusid
daedalusid

Just downloaded Origins today and it didn't have the wording change. As for: "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." This is still gray, they will share my info or use my info against me whenever it suits them.

ED0511
ED0511

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

DNM1
DNM1

Are you all actually that stupid? Honestly? The company heard complaints and actively went out of their way to fix the issue. Yes, they FIXED the issue. All of you jumping on the "burn them with fire" bandwagon really need to stop and take a moment to consider what this article is saying. In fact, the idea that they so quickly fixed this makes me hopeful that if by some chance there is something else we, the gamers, don't like about their program, they will fix it once more. I have Origin on my computer and have pre-ordered BF3, and will continue to support them if they keep moving forward like this.

ED0511
ED0511

This issue cause me to think twice before decide to buy BF3. I dont want to install a virus to my computer for them to earn more even when I pay for the game. May be EA will be out of my list if they dont change this.

erMonezza
erMonezza

So, now what? Do I have to buy MW3? I'm sure as hell I won't buy this and install it on my PC. As moneymilking company as Activision is, I'll give my money to them. F*** Origins. cheers

jockie_chan
jockie_chan

@jmace1 Actually avoiding this one game won't be hard for most, but if EA is persistent about this spyware (aka origin) by making all their games require it then it will be hard to resist it like you say.

jmace1
jmace1

I sincerely bet the majority of you claiming to not buy what is arguably the bigget release this year are full of it. I understand that you're upset, but I just don't believe in your will power to resist a release this big. P.S I understand a tsunami of thumbs down are heading toward me.

fillup0
fillup0

So Origin is an un-installable virus? Guess what game I won't be buying for PC.

jockie_chan
jockie_chan

DRM i understand (even though i don't like it and it's ineffective), but this blatant spyware is too much... My fear is that most of EA's future games will have this same EULA agreement and 90% of gamers will be slaves to EA.

killdamn
killdamn

Ooh noooes, that sounds like something I agreed to when I clicked agree. Honestly, do you people have any idea what you agree to when you don't read the EULA? Is it EA's fault that you didn't read what the software can do? I bet you have at some point agreed to similar cases in the past, without being personally affected. At this point, does it matter if you continue to use Origin? Is this truly the worst thing you have seen in any EULA?

jollybest1
jollybest1

@MasterKunt gaming habits by scaning your computer for everything? ....thats bull if they want to do that do it like gearbox and use it only on your games and watch him how he plays with what weapon he plays , his fav.character , his way of engaging an enemy or resolving a problem not scaning your damn computer for every s****t ......what will happen when a hacker will crack their server ??? all of your info.that was on your computer and then on an EA server will be used by a hacker or someone else....maybe EA has gone mad and they want to take over the world and make us slaves or maybe they are so evil that they will sell every piece of your info.to anyone even if they say they will not........do you trust your friend that much to give him a credit card forever and believe him that he will never use it? If you don't why trust EA a corporation which cares only for its shareholders and their big fat ass

Klevmore
Klevmore

So much for playing Battlefield 3...could have been great..F*** you EA... Oh well, plenty of other great games coming out this year, they can have my money.

jollybest1
jollybest1

pirates 1 EA 0 ..........now let's see hmmmmm one question remains buy bf3 to play it online and give them my info and open the door to the wolf or copy the game from torrents and play it offline without any origin crap loosing the mp experience (i don't have a doubt that the hackers/crackers/pirates will crack BF3 and every EA game without problems).............play single player for free or play BF3 for real ...........my interest for BF3 died what a shame ........................

jockie_chan
jockie_chan

Still the same bullcrap: They can monitor your computer - It is still spyware. if there is some pirated content or illegal thing on your computer you can be personally identified and have that information shared. If you buy this you would be paying them to give them power over you.

Chaotic19
Chaotic19

Also, its really funny how some people here really think that EA has pulled their act together after this little stunt. They've merely reworded it, they did not say that they would not collect your data, the only thing thats different is that they claim they will not share it, something they can change in an update.

Chaotic19
Chaotic19

This disgusts me, once again, its not enough to just play games and enjoy them. Nowadays we have to deal with BS like this and frankly, i'm sick of it. EA should know where they can stick Battlefield 3. No game is worth that amount of trouble and nonsense. I'm never buying from EA again as I prefer to get my games from publishers that share one very important quality: integrity, something EA knows nothing about.

YoungCardinal
YoungCardinal

@C4nnon You think its ok for EA to spy on what programs are installed (and even track what you uninstall) on your system as a tool to help fight piracy? This isn't about the 1% of people who actually may pirate games, its but about the Rights and Privacy of all loyal customers. This is just another example of a greedy company telling us to bend over further.

Namzug6691
Namzug6691

In any case, I will not be buying anything from Origin, regardless of what the EULA does or doesn't state or why EA is pushing it so hard. I will keep checking the software from time to time until either I am sure it's not needed for ME3 or they fix my primary complain, something I take it not many people here have run in to. The fact is that Origin will automatically and arbitrarily assign you a pre-determined store front language and monetary unit indifferent to your own preferences. There is no way to change it on your own so, even when we use US dollars locally and nothing else, if I want to use Origin I have to make the transaction in Euros. So, to all those people doing embassy duty or consultation work all over the world, you have my sympathies.

ymladdych
ymladdych

I'm thinking US gamers should start pushing for legislation on this sort of thing. If a program requires spyware to run, it should be listed in clear language on the packaging (visible before purchase) with a precise listing of exactly WHAT information is being collected. That type of transparency would be a true example of informed consent, not this sneaky, vague, backdoor BS in a EULA you don't see until after you've opened the software. Also, just like with other contracts, any alteration to the TOS after purchase should allow for the consumer to exit the contract without a loss...in other words, a refund. With all of the data breaches we've seen, it should be a consumer's fundamental right to know what information is going where, and not feel trapped into acceptance because of money they've already spent on a product they can't return.

C4nnon
C4nnon

your background popups(cookie) is causing High Ping cause of your pirating. ;)

C4nnon
C4nnon

people who pirate are just called isolated hackers in my book! i think people who are crying about EA Origin is sad that they can't find a loop hole and can't hang with the Legit Players Anymore like myself!

Vodoo
Vodoo

They took the language out but they're still gonna do it behind your back. Now they're just not telling you about it. I say BOYCOTT ALL EA ORIGIN PRODUCTS. EA doesn't care about your privacy... all they care about is their bottom line.

TheIfym20
TheIfym20

EA does not make enough money so they are cracking down on piracy at good consumer expense. Well played EA

Son_of_Bmore
Son_of_Bmore

EA got caught wit there hand in the cookie jar so they trying 2 change face but I promise they won't change & will try sumthing like this again in fact I guarantee they will try & reverse this very thing in the future.....

The_Godfather_
The_Godfather_

this Origin thing is really a bad idea while competing with Activision and Modern Warfare 3. why EA doesn't understand?!?

Namzug6691
Namzug6691

Maybe, but the way I see it; that EULA is for users that actually bought or will buy a game legally. People that use, for example a torrent site, did not start using pirated software yesterday so chances are they will not start buying legal software tomorrow. They are counting on someone somewhere to crack the DRM on the game and post it on line so they can download it. So, do I use pirated software? NO. Why? Because its hard enough attempting to troubleshoot application crashes and BSOD from legal software. Adding hacked/cracked/modified software to the mix is a pain in the b…. OH!! And item 13 still conjures up the words (blood, life force and soul). Probably too much NWN, KOTOR and DA

DeliCiousTZM
DeliCiousTZM

Dude if you pirate a game or maybe just use like a Torrent side for anything they might lock ure origin account and give all your info to the police.

Namzug6691
Namzug6691

OK Let me get this straight. All the "watching/tracking what you do" is the bad part, but item: 13. Injunctive Relief. You agree that a breach of this License may cause irreparable injury to EA for which monetary damages would not be an adequate remedy and EA shall be entitled to seek equitable relief in addition to any remedies it may have hereunder or at law. Does not means that Sauron is a stock holder of EA. Right???

kokonut1971
kokonut1971

you have to agree that the internet may help curb some behaviour by big brother EA or other comapnies but now some people are just happy with anything a PR rep will give to them. ok so, they chnaged it somewhat, but now do you just shut your mouth and forgive EA about this and you keep vigil and make sure that they still stay in line and not try some type of same crap again. i think a lot of people are too gullible and will have eaten this story of modified EULA and be on with it wihtout even blinking... people should be ever on their guard with companies trying stuff like this to invade your freedoms on the technology you use. This is no joke!

charlieboomboom
charlieboomboom

u get stripped off all your best comments..thx ....u cant say naked..really???????

Madgnad
Madgnad

@GarGx1 This is what I was referring to. http://contracts.uslegal.com/contract-by-a-minor/ You do bring up a good point. If your not from the US and the game is rated 18 then only an adult can buy it. However I still believe a parent could buy the game for a minor and say an 8 year old was playing it, he could to sign the EULA. Even though the parent bought the game, they wouldn't know about this EULA. Now what I would like to know is if in the EULA it says that if you are a minor, that you need a parent present when reading it or something.

doomandcow
doomandcow

cookies on the internet do this stuff all the time and are doing it right now on your computer but still it is really annoying

demondogx
demondogx

ea got the game got the hype to bad they are there own worst enemy if they dont protect the game from there stupid idea's and just start selling it normally without intrusive programms or boycutting a digital distributer that has like 30mil users im afraid that they will loose to cod so WISE UP EA !!! and stay away from battlefield 3 as far as possible with youre idea's if you wanna make maximum profit

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Now stop being greedy and give forza 4 the porches greed will never get you any where ea..

Kayweg
Kayweg

@Unfallen_Satan and FallenOneX Overall i have to agree with your opinions, guys...especially the "start giving a damn" part. Imo, it's a longterm lack of just that attitude that leads to situations like this in the first place. Just one thing though...this isn't exactly the FIRST ever EULA EA has put together. So, i don't believe for one minute that this happened accidental or out of complacency. Therefor, however "doubtful" one may assume that there was any bad intend on EA's behalf.....it was intend nonetheless.

eloymym
eloymym

In my opinion, is still excessive. From my point of view, there's no battle. Steam is really big, has millions of users and games right now.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

@FallenOneX I agree with FallenOneX that the best action for the average gamer is to boycott Origins if he does not agree with what EA is doing with it. It is drop in the pond, and many may question what good it does except to deprive one's self of games to play, such as BF3. However, this is the democratic society we live in. Unless someone could challenge the legality of Origins in court, one person could only decide for himself not to use the program and encourage others to do the same. If enough people boycott, then EA will change just as FallenOneX said. It's just good business. If not, well, at least venting on Gamespot help some of us to calm down a bit, so it's not completely without benefit. :)

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

The changes noted in this news brief mean nothing. It is highly doubtful that EA would or even could have sold personally identifiable information in the first place, except as "required by law or to enforce EA's legal rights." The mention of spyware is also superfluous since even true spyware programs do not advertise themselves as such. Furthermore, the definition of spyware is murky, and I do not doubt that EA's definition of spyware differs from that of many consumers. EA's superficial change so fast after the controversy started only demonstrates to me that EA does not intend to materially change its policy on Origins, and that Origins more than likely indeed collects information on the user's hardware and software in a way probably tangential even in legal terms. Is this spyware...thorny question at best. Only a legal challenge would tell. EA is betting that no one will do it and most people who would have will still get BF3 and agree to Origins' terms.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Gamers, as a whole, we need to grow up. The only reason EA changed this was because so many of us responded to what we felt was an unfair practice. Yes, complaining on boards like this help, but we need to be consistent. Don't just get riled up when it will affect the next big game that comes from them, do it because you care about gaming. When the global economy is the way it is, our dollars speak volumes. But let our "voices" mean something. The days of not reading the EULA (from any company) are over, and have been for some time. Corporations should be afraid to even attempt to put something like that (the original interpretation of Origin's EULA) out there for us to agree to. the only reason they do is because they're used to us not giving a damn as long as we can play a certain game. START GIVING A DAMN!

MikeFeeney431
MikeFeeney431

@PeterDuck That's a good point, i guess the only solution is to stop Origin running when not in game. If its not running in the background it cant really do anything, or am I incorrect in saying that? I just figure if the Origin program is the one taking this information, when its off it can do no harm? And when its on in game, the primary process it can pick up is the game that running. Or am I incorrect in saying that too!? Im not sure how this thing works when its not running so if anyone could clarify if this is a viable, understandably imperfect method?