Is EA’s Origin platform spying on its users?

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Some new information has been found that points towards suspicious program access from EA’s online game platform.

In a thread post on Reddit it appears that EA are spying on its Origin users’ PC usage. As reported on by WCCF Tech, the thread reveals that some seemingly shading goings on are happening with the Origin client.

I won’t go too far into the details here, but WCCF Tech basically explains that it appears Origin is monitoring when you’re starting up and using other programs on your computer. Whether the actual content and usage within those programs, like web browsers for example, is being monitored also is unknown.

The screenshot below that was initially posted on Reddit shows that the ‘PCSX2 1.21 exe’, a PlayStation 2 emulator, has been encrypted with its name changed using a ROT13 Cypher (used by the Windows Registry) that switches letters of a name ahead by 13 letters after it in the alphabet. In short, this looks pretty shadey from EA – why would they need to monitor anything other than what’s going on in Origin?

EA Origin Spying Reddit Post

Some users on Reddit are up in arms about the information, whilst others have done some research and posted up parts of EA’s Terms of Service policy, which states:

EA collects non-personal information along with personal information when you actively provide it in the context of various online and mobile activities including online and mobile purchases, game registration and marketing surveys, for instance. In addition, we and other third parties use cookies and other technologies to passively collect non-personal demographic information, personalize your experience on our sites and monitor advertisements and other activities as described below. We may also derive from the information collected other facts, such as determining the applicable tax rate based on your IP address.

If anyone is not happy with any of this activity from EA there is another option, as stated in their terms of service, “if you do not want to use this technology, do not play.”


An Origin representative responded to the post with the following:

Hey everyone,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I've been working with our live operations team to fully investigate this issue. Origin is not spyware, and there should be no privacy snooping operations of any type. I hope we will be able to update you guys on the investigation soon, we're gonna get to the bottom of this.”


Some positive feedback there at least, so we’ll have to wait and see what comes of this investigation by EA. Many users are calling for an ‘opt-out’ feature to be implemented, so at least there’s transparency with what information you’re allowing EA to have. We’ll update you with any further developments.


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