EA: "Origin is not spyware"
This isn't the first time EA's Origin service has raised eyebrows (and ire) for its unflinchingly iron-fisted EULA. Now, though, the service is under fire in exciting new locales - primarily from German paper the Spiegel (via Eurogamer) - for allegedly granting EA the ability to access other EA programs without notifying users and giving "partners" free rein to collect information on "IP addresses, usage data, software, equipment, software usage and existing hardware peripherals" for marketing purposes. According to the Spiegel, these things may even violate German privacy laws.
EA, however, isn't hurriedly thrusting any red hands behind its back. This, claims the publisher, absolutely isn't what it looks like.
"We have updated the End User License Agreement of Origin, in the interests of our players to create more clarity," EA Germany said in a statement. "Origin is not spyware. Neither do we use nor install spyware on the PCs of users."
"We do not have access to information such as pictures, documents or personal data, which have nothing to do with the execution of the Origin program on the system of the player, neither will they be collected by us. EA takes the privacy of its users very seriously. We have taken every precaution to protect the personal and anonymous user data collected."
To conclude, EA noted that its EULA sticks to the "industry standard" where privacy is concerned - but added that it's certainly open to addressing any concerns the German government might have.
Even so, it always bears repeating: Actually read the EULA before clicking the "Why yes, you may harvest my healthy internal organs in the event of a global pandemic" button. It's time-consuming, sure, but - much as I wish more elements of kindergarten carried over into the real world - there aren't any takesies-backsies here.