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Having fun? Blizzard already know.

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JAK

posted on Oct, 31 2005 @ 09:55 AM
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With World of Warcraft players numbering four million Blizzard have once again made headlines.

This time rather than enjoying the task of explaining Warcraft's appeal they are trying to ease concerns over recent revelations that the watchdog program, (called The Warden) is spyware and not only check for software that might indicate whether a player is cheating, but:

    Source
    ...also scans the text in the title bars of any Window for any other program.

    Writing in his blog about what he found Mr Hoglund said: "I watched The Warden sniff down the e-mail addresses of people I was communicating with on MSN, the URL of several websites that I had open at the time, and the names of all my running programs."

    (software engineer) Greg Hoglund noted that the text strings in title bars could easily contain credit card details or social security numbers.

    Digital rights group The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) branded The Warden "spyware" and said its use constituted "a massive invasion of privacy".

    The EFF said that it was not acceptable simply to take Blizzard's word that it did nothing with the information it gathered. It added that the Blizzard could get away with using The Warden because information about it was buried in licence agreements that few people read.

Apparently:

    Warcraft players debating the issue on the worldofwar.net forums seemed happy to have The Warden keeping an eye on what they are doing. Many said they trusted Blizzard not to exploit the information being gathered.
But being as the address (www.worldofwar.net...) is unavailable there is no knowing if this is true.


    Warcraft game maker in spying row

    Game maker Blizzard has been accused of spying on the four million players of World of Warcraft.

    Net activists branded software used to spot cheats "spyware" because it gathers information about the other programs running on players' PCs.

    In its defence Blizzard said nothing was done with the information gathered by the anti-cheat software.


I don't play any this or any similar online games but I would be furious to discover such a thing. In my eyes this is a total abuse of power and just goes to show the precautions which need to be taken to ensure true privacy.


Jak




posted on Oct, 31 2005 @ 08:43 PM
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Just a game who the hell cares, people need to get a life.



posted on Nov, 1 2005 @ 06:15 AM
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That is a pretty serious and unnecessary privacy breach. I wonder if this (information about the spyware) was embedded deeply within the EULA, because if it isn't, couldn't that be something of seirous legal consequences?


JAK

posted on Nov, 1 2005 @ 06:42 AM
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    Originally posted by Poison
    Just a game who the hell cares, people need to get a life.
The article is about spyware embedded within the game, the apparent gathering of information about not only the software running on your PC but also:

    "I watched The Warden sniff down the e-mail addresses of people I was communicating with on MSN..."
without the targets knowlege or realised permission. You have no problem with spyware fine, there are others however who have issues with it for reasons that many consider obvious and who are unhappy that anyone should surreptitiously gather data on them. Perhaps you should try reading the article to help understand the concerns before commenting.


    Originally posted by Toxic Fox
    That is a pretty serious and unnecessary privacy breach. I wonder if this (information about the spyware) was embedded deeply within the EULA, because if it isn't, couldn't that be something of seirous legal consequences?
I agree, it is serious. Why do they need this other information, the details of any contacts you happen to have in your instant messenger program for example? Why would this be legitimately required? What has this to do with you running any kind of cheat for the game?

From the first article:

    The EFF said that it was not acceptable simply to take Blizzard's word that it did nothing with the information it gathered. It added that the Blizzard could get away with using The Warden because information about it was buried in licence agreements that few people read.
Looks like they had foreseen the possible consequences of this and ensured they were protected.

Jak



posted on Nov, 1 2005 @ 07:39 AM
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While I find this unsettling its not that big of a suprise to me, and I can see possible uses besides catching blatant cheaters utilizing programs to change the way WoW plays. There are people who powerlevel an account (use methods of quick leveling to go from 1 to 60 in a short period of time) then will actually sell the account to someone else. Last I checked this was not something Blizzard condoned or supported, and if letting The Warden look a little bit further than just the running processes will enable Blizzard to remove these people from the WoW community then I would be all for it; account sellers and others looking to profit from the game and remove the work for people too lazy to level themselves ruin the fun for others by handing high-level characters to loosers too lame to do the work themselves!



posted on Nov, 1 2005 @ 02:07 PM
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I think that the program is fine. All it does is scan, it doesnt mention anything about them recording the information, and they do say that they arnt using it. The program just looks for programs with certain names. Also if the details of the progream are enclosed in the user agreement then it is completly legal and acceptable ,its the fault of the user for not knowing about it ebcause they didnt read the terms of use before 'agreeing' with them.



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