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-   -   EA - Origin Client Investigation Begins (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24863)

Couchpotato July 14th, 2014 10:37

EA - Origin Client Investigation Begins
 
WCCF Tech has news on an on-going investigation on EA's Origin Client. The concern is the client is spying on you by file snooping. This was a concern a few years back also.

Quote:

Update: A slight clarification on my part. The screenshot only proves that the origin client is actively looking at the list of the programs recently run. Basically it shows that origin is aware of the files you have on your PC (that have been run).

[Report] A very interesting thread on the Reddit was sent to me by my colleague Tyler Roemhildt. It turns out that EA is snooping files aka spying on your usage habits via the Origin client. And it looks like this is more or less confirmed because Origin representatives claim “they are trying to get to the bottom of this”.



Privacy is a very sensitive topic in the world of Internet and one of the biggest gaming clients spying in your usage habits is cause for concern. Now what exactly does “usage habits” mean? Well, from the looks of it, Origin is taking its merry time looking around the personal files on your computer, most probably when they are running, and this includes your browser as well. Now while we do not know whether it can spy on your browsing activity as well, the mere fact that it is accessing the browser process is discerning.

More information.

joxer July 14th, 2014 10:37

Quote:

it looks like this is more or less confirmed because Origin representatives claim “they are trying to get to the bottom of this”.
So EA "got to the bottom of" my extensive porn collection.
Oh, they just wanted to see how many of their scam DLC are on my PC, nothing else… Poor EA.

Someone should finally sue them.

ChienAboyeur July 14th, 2014 12:31

I wonder if investigating the Origin client is against the laws. It might be associated to reverse engineering.

Nameless one July 14th, 2014 13:03

Anyone surprised?Uplay probably does the same.I have little more faith in steam not spying on me but I wouldn't really be surprised even if it turn out they do it too.

azarhal July 14th, 2014 14:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nameless one (Post 1061261776)
Anyone surprised?Uplay probably does the same.I have little more faith in steam not spying on me but I wouldn't really be surprised even if it turn out they do it too.

That's how these application find files/programs to associated with their launchers.

But like ChainAboyeur said, what does people are doing might put them into legal troubles more than EA.

joxer July 14th, 2014 14:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nameless one (Post 1061261776)
Anyone surprised?Uplay probably does the same.I have little more faith in steam not spying on me but I wouldn't really be surprised even if it turn out they do it too.

Not very likely. uPlay is not stuck in your tray by default and launches only when you're playing uPlay DRMed game.
Origin, when installed, is automatically up and stays running 24/7 no matter if you're playing it's game or not, spamming commercials and doing god knows what else (well… now we know what else might that be).

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur (Post 1061261774)
I wonder if investigating the Origin client is against the laws. It might be associated to reverse engineering.

Since when reverse engineering of a malware is illegal? If it suddenly is, all antivirus companies are as good as dead.
Just to make something clear. Malware is a piece of software that does something you're not aware of and are not happy with when you learn what it is. Virus is not malware to it's creators.

Morrandir July 14th, 2014 14:48

The difference between Origin and a virus is, that Origin is a copyrighted product with an EULA that you accept on its installation. It's owned by EA. So they have some different rights than the creator of a virus. The creator of a virus or some other serious malware will never sue you for reverse engineering. EA perhaps will because Origin's EULA states:
Quote:

Except, and only to the extent that may be permitted under applicable law, you may not decompile, disassemble, or reverse engineer the Application by any means whatsoever, or alter, modify, enhance, or create a derivative work of the Application.
Whatever this "applicable law" might be then…

azarhal July 14th, 2014 14:57

Quote:

Originally Posted by joxer (Post 1061261783)
Not very likely. uPlay is not stuck in your tray by default and launches only when you're playing uPlay DRMed game.
Origin, when installed, is automatically up and stays running 24/7 no matter if you're playing it's game or not, spamming commercials and doing god knows what else (well… now we know what else might that be).

I don't run Origin 24/7. I only start it when I start a game that use it and I can even close it once the game is started.

Thorwyn99 July 14th, 2014 15:38

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur (Post 1061261774)
I wonder if investigating the Origin client is against the laws. It might be associated to reverse engineering.

Might be safest to let someone in Tonga do it lol

joxer July 14th, 2014 15:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Morrandir (Post 1061261787)
EULA

I don't think in there they wrote the software will be spying on stuff outside of Origin folders.
Even if it was, what, if in EULA it was said "you accept not to sue EA if EA CEO kills your mother" that would make EA killing people a legal business?

Morrandir July 14th, 2014 16:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by joxer (Post 1061261793)
I don't think in there they wrote the software will be spying on stuff outside of Origin folders.

Most likely the did not, but that's completely irrelevant when it comes to the question if it's allowed for the application to be reverse engineered.
It may be allowed if there's an "official investigation" (don't know the correct words) by the police. But that's a thing a court has to decide.
Quote:

Even if it was, what, if in EULA it was said "you accept not to sue EA if EA CEO kills your mother" that would make EA killing people a legal business?
No, because an EULA as every contract itself can (partly) be illicit making the conclusion of the contract invalid.
I guess EA can afford to pay skilled lawyers to avoid stuff like that. ;)

Wisdom July 14th, 2014 17:06

EULA are notoriously difficult to enforce. The easiest EULA breaches to enforce are those that deal with profit for the breacher. The most difficult are 'social contacts' built into the EULA such as 'you agree to not publicly criticize this product' or 'you shall not perform benchmarking tests'.

On a personal note, I find it annoying when I check access logs and see what files have been scanned by Steam/Origin/uplay when they have no business in there. It doesnt show me what specifically it looked at, just that the whole file was accessed.

Thorwyn99 July 14th, 2014 17:09

Well aside from looking at a process monitor seems they haven't done much yet.

I don't see why EA should put this to the lawyers.
They are already the most hated company but their games don't seem to sell less for it, i guess some more PR disaster won't matter much.

zahratustra July 14th, 2014 17:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thorwyn99 (Post 1061261823)
They are already the most hated company but their games don't seem to sell less for it, i guess some more PR disaster won't matter much.

It's citizen/consumer duality. In US people generally hate Walmart yet shop there all the same.

Gaxkang July 14th, 2014 18:04

It's worth remembering that breach of EULA by eg reverse engineering = EA sues for damages in civil law. It must say what damage it suffered, prove that a person did the reverse engineering rather than repeated what somebody said, and claim the sums of damage it suffered.

If EA on the other hand, is breaching various data protection, privacy laws and unacceptable contract clause = criminal as well as regulatory and civil, ie the state/government pursues and possibly class action civil by licensees.

It would be ironic indeed if EA took a coder to court and claimed before a judge "as a result of the reverse engineering, the truth came out and we lost xxx in sales due to tarnished reputation".

Aubrielle July 14th, 2014 18:17

If anyone starts a class action lawsuit for breach of privacy, I'll jump on board. ;)

joxer July 14th, 2014 18:34

I'll just say this. I'm in EU. There is no way EU courts would accept any EA's terms of service and whatnot - if it's an obvious scam. And no lawyer can help them.

You may write anything in any contract. But if it's initially against laws or even against the constitution, well sorry, you're a scammer and as such should go to jail. Or get banned from gaming industry already!

Xian July 14th, 2014 19:56

I would suspect that many of the game clients see what files have been run or are running. I remember reading about how Blizzard did with Battlenet to see if you were running any cheat programs, and I am guessing that Valves VAC would have to be able to do something similar to tell if you had a hack running. I am not sure an anti-cheat system would be very effective if they didn't do so.

TheMadGamer July 14th, 2014 23:21

If this is true, and Origin in poking around people's computers in a way that is illegal then I really hope they get the pants sued off of them.

Their EULA may have you 'agree' to things that are NOT enforceable in court - much like a Landlord cannot kick somebody out of rental without a proper notice even if you make a lease agreement where each party agrees to such eviction process.

EA is the poster boy for capitalist greed… and I say that as someone who is pro-capitalist. They need some serious humbling if they are willfully breaking laws. Then again I'm heavily biased as I've loathed EA for a very long time. My last EA game purchase was probably early on this century.

Thrasher July 14th, 2014 23:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by azarhal (Post 1061261788)
I don't run Origin 24/7. I only start it when I start a game that use it and I can even close it once the game is started.

^this


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