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.
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.