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POL System Scan Privacy Issues? OP Updated 5:39am EST Mar 9Follow

#1 Mar 08 2007 at 11:57 AM Rating: Good
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New edit: I will edit to add notes as needed, since replies to this thread expand on this, and I didn't post them originally, or they were brought up by other people, etc. Much of the information people have disputed in regards to "which of these policies applies to what SEI services, etc" can be found in the first paragraph of any of the related user agreements.

The membership agreement also cites which privacy policy applies to these services, and, that both the membership & user agreemtns together, along with the privacy policy, to form one complete agreement.

I posted the "how I reached phoning" a little lower down in this thread, for ease of finding it, you can ctrl+f for my reply that starts with "I started my update around 3pm EST yesterday" or just scroll down til you see it.

If you'd like to seriously debate/dispute this, please, I urge you, read the entire thread and not just this OP, it's getting tiresome repeating the same things said hours ago :(

No offense to anyone in particular, I'm a cranky kitty...

Other relevant link(s):
From the Federal Trade Commission - the "Fair Information Practice Principles" - which might answer some of your questions in regards to "Why complain about a silly little game?" (and keep me from repeating myself :D), I wholeheartedly support the points made therein.

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Old post follows new post -


I phoned the California Office of Privacy Protection to ask about their responsibilities as a businessed based in California, was told that I should be able to "opt out", that I should be able to ask and recieve information on what measures their company takes to protect my information, and that I should be able to point out innaccuracies in their privacy policy to enact a change to that policy.

So from the top down:
They don't have an "opt out". Opting out = not playing. Fair enough, though it still doesn't cover opting out of "anonymous user statistics".

The person I spoke to on the phone this time, Casey, was unable to tell me what measures they took to protect my information, as he "wasn't a network technician". Not cool, but also not my primary complaint.

I was then directed to the legal department which can only be contacted via snail mail "at the address listed on the website". (It's not listed, btw.)

So, I phoned the Office of Privacy Protection back again, as I have no other recourse, and spoke to a rather nice gentleman on the phone who said that, while he was not a lawyer and could not therefore recall the statutes that were being violated, but as a general guideline, all information/data/etc collected and transmitted had to be disclosed, and that if their privacy policy did not include "process information and information stored in virtual memory" (see the link to the WoW agreement at the end of the post), then the policy was inaccurate, and that they would take steps to ensure that it was updated.

So... end result? The California Office of Privacy Protection is drafting a letter (CC'd to me) to Square Enix, Inc. (based out of El Segundo, CA) informing them of the inaccuracy of their privacy policy in the hopes that it will be updated. They then have (quoting their website now) 30 days from reciept of the letter to comply (New note: ..comply with the California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003).

This is not a Windower debate.

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Old post:
I phoned PlayOnline. I spoke to Charles, who would give no further identifying information (ie. ID#, etc) to distinguish himself from any other Charles who might be employed there, but did mention that he was the "only Charles in the information centre".

In short:

Yes. pol.exe is scanning your running processes and memory.

Yes. This data is being transmitted back to SEI.

The first time the guy stated that it was being transmitted back, he assured me that it was only to check for third party apps. I pointed out that this was not acceptable under the terms of their current agreement.

I was then placed on hold for about 20 minutes.

When I came back from being on hold, I was informed that the data collected was in line with their software agreement, and then quoted off to me a section of their privacy policy regarding to collection of personal data during account creation. I'd like to note here that I cannot find their privacy policy on the playonline website, I can only find the User Agreement, their GM policies, behaviour guidelines, and their website Privacy Policy, despite the User Agreement clearly stating that the POL/FFXI Privacy Policy can be found on www.playonline.com. (Charles also directed me to the website.)

UPDATE: Thank you Deadgye for providing the proper link to the policy! Quotes now added from https://secure.playonline.com/supportus/rule_polservice.html
Charles read to me: wrote:
1. Information Collected During the Registration Process
We require Users to register with us in order to access a number of the products and services offered on PlayOnline. During registration, we ask you to provide us with certain information that personally identifies you (referred to herein as “Personal Information”). Personal Information may include your name, date of birth, telephone number, mailing address, E-mail address, and credit card account information, as well as any other information that may be used to identify you. Personal Information is collected so that we can provide you with the PlayOnline services you requested, contact you to verify your Personal Information or PlayOnline account activities, notify you if there is a problem with your account, and enhance the services that we provide to you. After registration, you will be given a PlayOnline ID and a PlayOnline E-mail address, and asked to choose your own passwords. We strongly suggest that Users not choose passwords that can be easily recognized or guessed by others, and that they take steps to protect the confidentiality of their password information.


When I mentioned that the section he was reading off to me clearly stated that it was in regards to account creation, I was then told that the data was being collected as "traffic data" (
Traffic data definition wrote:
Collection of Traffic Data
SEI may also collect certain anonymous usage data, such as pages visited and services used within PlayOnline (collectively, “Traffic Data”). This information is not Personal Information and generally is not aggregated with Personal Information. We generally use Traffic Data to improve our services to you and to customize and enhance your PlayOnline experience.

)and that SEI would be using it to "help improve my PlayOnline experience".

Part of the quote adding update: I bolded. SEI didn't. I just wanted to highlight that bit since it displays that "Traffic data" does not encompass my process list or random whatever the **** they're collecting that would be in my RAM/virtual memory/whatever.

Interpret at will.

For comparison of agreements, please check under "Acknowledgements" in WoW's agreement, which can be found at http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/legal/termsofuse.html

Pick one, Charles. Are you scanning for third party apps or are you collecting traffic data to improve your internal systems? Do we need to rehash the Blizzard issue?

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 11:13pm by Arketa

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 11:29pm by Arketa

Edited, Mar 9th 2007 5:42am by Arketa

Edited, Mar 9th 2007 5:32pm by Pikko
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#2 Mar 08 2007 at 12:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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I... must be the only privacy advocate playing FFXI :/
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#3 Mar 08 2007 at 12:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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So SE techies are looking at what's on my PC?

Quick! Download pron!!!!!
#4 Mar 08 2007 at 12:21 PM Rating: Default
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You act like this is a bad thing. What exactly do you have to hide that makes you worry so about this?
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#5 Mar 08 2007 at 12:26 PM Rating: Good
Wow.

Haven't had vast armies of Windower users screaming about being banned yet, so I'm assuming they haven't yet used whatever data they might be collecting. But...I'm a little scared now. Assuming you're telling the truth (and you're a whole lot more convincing and well-spoken than our average "ZOMG THEY SCANNING UR APPS U GONNA GET BANNED" poster) they will probably decide to use this info at some time in the future. And they can pretty much ban us for whatever they feel like, as per user agreement. So...I guess it's a good thing my patch hasn't downloaded yet, because I haven't had a chance to launch FFXI with Windower and possibly ***** myself.

Cue the "Windower is/isn't cheating" argument and the "They can/can't do that because it is/isn't illegal" argument. Oh, and RMT, can't forget that one.

I'm thinking I just won't play until they release their windowable version. Anyone know if Vanguard's gone public yet?
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#6 Mar 08 2007 at 12:29 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
You act like this is a bad thing. What exactly do you have to hide that makes you worry so about this?


I love this argument. How would you feel about having security cameras installed inside your house? After all, it's not like you have anything to hide right?
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#7 Mar 08 2007 at 12:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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If I were to be banned for using windower, and only windower, I don't think I want my money going to SE anyway.
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#8 Mar 08 2007 at 12:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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KyrilFenrir the Irrelevant wrote:


I'm thinking I just won't play until they release their windowable version. Anyone know if Vanguard's gone public yet?


It has, and it wasn't ready. Brad McQuaid, shame on you :(

I was in beta since the end of phase 1, and I'm not playing retail after buying the collectors edition, etc.
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#9 Mar 08 2007 at 12:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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It's not about "having something to hide"


it's more "because I don't like it"


The curtains in my room stay closed, FOREVER, I will open the window but curtains must always stay closed, not like people are gonna look anyway (3rd floor flat), or I have anything to hide, but, just don't like it.

I am sure many people share this feeling.


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#10 Mar 08 2007 at 12:40 PM Rating: Good
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So um...in non-technical terms, they're scanning my computer to see what programs I have runnning? Or what?

If they start banning people for using windower, that's going to be a lot of ****** off people. This game should have that capability to start with IMO.
#11 Mar 08 2007 at 12:42 PM Rating: Good
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Asshandler wrote:
You act like this is a bad thing. What exactly do you have to hide that makes you worry so about this?


This guys sounds like a Bush Admistration bobble head. Just because I have nothing to hide doesn't mean I shouldn't have rights. gfy.
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#12 Mar 08 2007 at 12:43 PM Rating: Good
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Time to download Processguard
#13 Mar 08 2007 at 12:45 PM Rating: Default
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Well, then let them ban Windower users. Though, it doesn't make any sense, since they are making a windowed version of their own.
#14 Mar 08 2007 at 12:50 PM Rating: Decent
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If you don't like POL scanning your processes, you can always stop playing.
#15 Mar 08 2007 at 12:57 PM Rating: Default
I know that I don't cheat and I don't want anyone else cheating ruining the game for me so I think that scanning your pc for 3rd party apps is a good thing.
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#16 Mar 08 2007 at 1:02 PM Rating: Good
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Yes it's a good way to figure out who is using third party software but the fact remains that they are doing this without mention. That alone is an invasion of privacy and against TOS.

#17 Mar 08 2007 at 1:16 PM Rating: Good
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And... to reiterate:

It's not that they're scanning my system.

It's that they've yet to disclose that my system would be scanned (at which point I could have chosen NOT to run the software).

Again, compare FFXI's agreement to WoW's. That's what it SHOULD look like post-update. It does not.
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#18 Mar 08 2007 at 1:20 PM Rating: Decent
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Would you be willing to scan the letter and post a link to it online? Or send it via e-mail? I'd like to have a look at it myself.
#19 Mar 08 2007 at 1:22 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
If you don't like POL scanning your processes, you can always stop playing.


Exactly.

However, if the argument is that SE doesn't feature this info in their user agreement, then the OP has a valid argument.

But if it's in the disclosure agreement, then you have no right to complain if you want to play the game.
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#20 Mar 08 2007 at 1:25 PM Rating: Good
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That IS the arguement. It's not listed in clear cut English in their privacy Policy. They are trying to hide behind some other term and pass it off as "we are scanning your PC and there's nothing you whiny little ******* can do about it."

When you write a contract, you can't make up the rules as you go along. The Privacy Policy specifically hasn't been updated since October of 2006. You can amend to the terms all you like, but you actually have to AMEND them, not just sit there and say something that meant something in 2005 means something totally different in 2007.

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 4:27pm by Erawyn
#21 Mar 08 2007 at 1:28 PM Rating: Decent
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I honestly can't relate to your upset.

I understand your concern, but this only applies while you're running the game (i.e. it's not like SE is monitoring your activity 24/7, as security cameras would), and you really can opt out by not playing the game.
SE isn't interested in anything that isn't affective to their game. It doesn't matter what's running, as long as it doesn't give you an advantage.

I must agree with some others here who have said 'if you have nothing to hide, who cares'. It's not 24-hour monitoring, and you don't HAVE to play the game if you're this worked up. How many other programs would you have running anyway?

I don't know. Personally I don't care a whit, the disabling and prosecution of fleehackers and poshackers is worth a system scan to me. It will make the RMT easier to nail, and that's worth it in my opinion.

Dear God no, SE might find my Firefox running or something. I don't get it.
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#22 Mar 08 2007 at 1:29 PM Rating: Good
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Lol, its not about windower or anything 3rd party. Just about scanning your computer without your knowledge.

Imagine this:
You are renting an appartment, and the owner decides to install spy cameras in your appartment without telling you. The camera only activates at night after 10PM and stops monitoring after you wake up.

Lol would you just say "if you dont like it then leave the appartment"?

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 4:32pm by caudexs
#23 Mar 08 2007 at 1:30 PM Rating: Good
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Erawyn wrote:
Would you be willing to scan the letter and post a link to it online? Or send it via e-mail? I'd like to have a look at it myself.

I had just gotten off the phone after the message I posted above, so it'll be a few days before I recieve the letter. But yes, I'm willing to post any correspondence I have with the Office of Privacy Protection and/or SEI, assuming it isn't prohibited somewhere by some nutty law :P

If it helps at all, the guy from the OPP (Office of Privacy Protection - I've been avoiding using that acronym, since to me it means "Ontario Provincial Police") said the letter would be "educational" and that most companies comply willingly (he made it sound like he meant jovially instead of willingly, lol), but their website does state that they (SEI) have 30 days to comply with California law after recieving a complaint.

Asshandler wrote:
However, if the argument is that SE doesn't feature this info in their user agreement, then the OP has a valid argument.

But if it's in the disclosure agreement, then you have no right to complain if you want to play the game.


And no, it's not in the agreement anywhere (I think I said that? now I have to re-read my OP for errors again :P), which is why I called them this morning. Yesterday I figured it was the usual update joke thread ie. "zomg, FFXI iz hacking joo!", but today when I loaded POL for the first time since the update, I found it wasn't a joke.

So, I checked the website for policy updates, read and reread the policies a few times, one thing led to another, and I placed the first phone call...

Edit: Typing... failing... "to me" not "to mean" lol

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 4:31pm by Arketa
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#24 Mar 08 2007 at 1:33 PM Rating: Decent
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I use windower and some plugins, they either know everyone now that uses 3rd pt apps or they check when they GM you. Really I think they simply wanted to get an idea of what people are using and the numbers involved, they will probably remove it pretty quick if pressure is applied but it has probably already done what they wanted.
#25MasterThief, Posted: Mar 08 2007 at 1:33 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Who @#%^ing cares. Don't @#%^ing cheat morons and you won't have to worry about a **** thing. I am HAPPY they're scanning my processes. Because it's obvious Windower does not flag them at all. So too bad on the "OMGz! I GOT the Banstick for using Windower!" naysayers. Stop @#%^ing cheating.
#26 Mar 08 2007 at 1:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
I honestly can't relate to your upset.

I understand your concern, but this only applies while you're running the game (i.e. it's not like SE is monitoring your activity 24/7, as security cameras would), and you really can opt out by not playing the game.
SE isn't interested in anything that isn't affective to their game. It doesn't matter what's running, as long as it doesn't give you an advantage.

I must agree with some others here who have said 'if you have nothing to hide, who cares'. It's not 24-hour monitoring, and you don't HAVE to play the game if you're this worked up. How many other programs would you have running anyway?

I don't know. Personally I don't care a whit, the disabling and prosecution of fleehackers and poshackers is worth a system scan to me. It will make the RMT easier to nail, and that's worth it in my opinion.

Dear God no, SE might find my Firefox running or something. I don't get it.


The problem is them not TELLING us. They want to shove the ToS down our throats so much, how it's against the ToS to do this, how it's against the ToS to do that, yet they aren't even following their own Privacy Policy. All they have to do is amend the Privacy Policy to say "Yes, we will scan your computer for any unwanted programs that might interefere with FFXI and give the player an unfair advantage" and this topic wouldn't even have been brought up.

As a paying customer, I have the right to see an amended contract when they decide to add new goodies to it. Otherwise, I am not accepting their amended contract when I click the "Accept" button, I'm only accepting the one available to the public. I can't, legally and lawfully, accept a contract with new amendments I know nothing about.

Quote:
Who @#%^ing cares. Don't @#%^ing cheat morons and you won't have to worry about a **** thing. I am HAPPY they're scanning my processes. Because it's obvious Windower does not flag them at all. So too bad on the "OMGz! I GOT the Banstick for using Windower!" naysayers. Stop @#%^ing cheating.

But a warning to those that do use Windower, when they implement the window mode. Might want to opt out of using Windower. It's possible they'll give a warning then start enforcing it. Doubtful but totally probable knowing SE.


You're a moron. You didn't read the post at all.

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 4:38pm by Erawyn
#27 Mar 08 2007 at 1:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sigh...people can just use a Root kit and remove the process from being shown in the task manager. So this does absolutely nothing to catch RMT.

From a Privacy Rights Issue, the more you let someone take away your rights because you have nothing to hide, the less rights you will have when you do care that they took something away.
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#28 Mar 08 2007 at 1:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sioux wrote:

I must agree with some others here who have said 'if you have nothing to hide, who cares'. It's not 24-hour monitoring, and you don't HAVE to play the game if you're this worked up. How many other programs would you have running anyway?


I am, for the record, an American citizen living in Canada.

I like to think that I have some very sound ethics and ethical beliefs.

Among those I wholeheartedly believe I have the right to my privacy, that neither the government nor any business has any right to dig through my belongings, virtual or not, for any purpose you can concieve, without my consent.

If they'd bothered to disclose this in their policy (again, see Blizzard's WoW policy), I'd be fine with it.

Disclosing it means that it's then my responsibility read the (hypothetically, in this instance) updated policy, and then to agree with it and log on, or to not agree with it, uninstall their software, and cancel my account.

As the policy was not updated, and this action was not disclosed, I was given no choice in the matter.
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#29 Mar 08 2007 at 1:41 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
You are renting an appartment, and the owner decides to install spy cameras in your appartment without telling you.

Lol would you just say "if you dont like it then leave the appartment"?


And this analogy would work, if SE were installing 24/7 visual/audio monitoring equipment on your computer. It's not the same thing at all.

It's scanning the system while you're playing, looking for specific known hacks and cheats. What's the ******* problem, is everyone running childporno.exe or what?

You're using their service. It's your computer, in use to access their service.
Is it a massive violation of your privacy to have to walk through a metal detector in an airport? Do you scream and cry and call the better business bureau or whatevertf?

Or do you go through the detector, knowing on the other side that everyone is less likely to be running around with a weapon or some other death-spawning thing?

As far as I'm concerned, hacks are as dangerous to the game as weapons on planes are to people. Look at Diablo if you doubt it. I dislike knowing others are using them, and I don't want the game to tank because of RMT and outrageous hack use.

It's not George Washington dying in the middle of the Delaware for the liberty and ultimate justice of the entire freaking world, it's just a process scan.

I'll go through the f-ing detector if I want to fly on the plane.

Erawyn wrote:
As a paying customer, I have the right to see an amended contract when they decide to add new goodies to it. Otherwise, I am not accepting their amended contract when I click the "Accept" button, I'm only accepting the one available to the public. I can't, legally and lawfully, accept a contract with new amendments I know nothing about.


Well, I understand this (don't let my tone get to you, I have a nastier tone than I mean to online).
But as I see it, to get upset about it to this extent is acting on principle, which isn't usually a good thing at all, even though people will tell you it is.
It's principle to get mad when someone does something and doesn't necessarily tell you, but it's also important to keep in mind the perspective of the thing. Is it better to have the scan and know there's a boot up the RMT's ****, or to not have the scan, deal with the RMT, and deal with fleehackers and vokebots while competing in mines and at NM pops?

I absolutely agree they should have it in the policy. The thing I don't agree with is the outrage.

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 3:48pm by Sioux
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#30 Mar 08 2007 at 1:41 PM Rating: Good
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If true, this is truly incredible. Nice work OP. It's a HUGE violation of privacy to scan running processes on a computer without disclosing that such scans occur, or without disclosing the precise nature of the information gathered from such scans. Of course, SE has every right to scan and record all data that you send them from your computer, not to mention the data involving you on their own network. But to assume that they can scan and monitor all running applications on your computer, and then associate the results of such scans with particular individuals, is not only likely inconsistent with the privacy laws of California, but probably just about every other State in the US, and most countries in the Western world.

For precisely this reason, I'm surprised that SE would leave themselves so vulnerable to crippling civil litigation. My gut feeling is that you are incorrect: they probably just monitor all data sent back and forth between your computer and their servers, but, if you're correct, then they might want to slap their lawyers in the head and ask them to start doing their jobs.

It's good that you got the privacy commissioner involved in CA, but I might also suggest contacting your member of the State Assembly (who could embarrass them publicly or contact the Justice Dept), as well as some privacy interest groups who have the resources to get more attention than a lone individual.

...if this is indeed a violation of the privacy laws in California (I know nothing about CA law), then SE at the very least needs to hear that they aren't covering themselves too well in the event of a future civil suit (read class action, god Forbid, if anything malicious were to happen to this information).

Good job OP.

And SE doesn't need to scan running processes on your computer to detect cheating. If you can manipulate it on your computer and SE doesn't want you to manipulate it, then they should move that information server-side. If it's already server-side, then recording the data from and to your computer is more than enough to detect abnormalities--but to conclude, I'm quite confident that this is how they manage cheat/hack detection in any event.

Oh, and Pornography isn't even close to the only application that people run that they might not want other people to detect, let alone be able to associate with a particular name, address, age, phone number and credit card number.

Lastly, the airport security comparison fails for the simple reason that one involves an unnecessary intrusion to detect cheating in a video game, and the other involves a necessary intrusion to prevent plan hijackings/bombings etc. In cases such as these, the common legal standard involves a comparison of the gravity of the violation, the necessity of the violation, and the purpose of the violation. That said, I agree with Sioux that the cameras in your house analogy is unfair as well.


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Edited, Mar 8th 2007 2:51pm by basset
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#31 Mar 08 2007 at 1:46 PM Rating: Decent
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Sioux, you're totally missing the point.

K nevermind. Your edt proves otherwise.

Quote:
I absolutely agree they should have it in the policy. The thing I don't agree with is the outrage.


No "outrage" on my end. I just like taking an active role in knowing what all goes into the products I pay for. Consider it "active consumerism" if you will.

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 4:53pm by Erawyn
#32 Mar 08 2007 at 1:49 PM Rating: Good
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Erawyn wrote:
Sioux, you're totally missing the point.


I edited my post above. But seriously, Erawyn, look at my sig, if I didn't miss the point at least sometimes I'd have to remove it. Smiley: smile
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#33 Mar 08 2007 at 1:50 PM Rating: Good
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basset wrote:
If true, this is truly incredible.

Phone POL. ****, ask for Charles in the information center :P

basset wrote:
For precisely this reason, I'm surprised that SE would leave themselves so vulnerable to crippling civil litigation. My gut feeling is that you are incorrect: they probably just monitor all data sent back and forth between your computer and their servers, but, if you're correct, than they might want to slap their lawyers in the head and ask them to start doing their jobs.

Charles' initial reply was a huge misstep on his part, IMO. He should not have stated that they were scanning for 3rd party applications. I believe legal liability is why call centre employees have scripts.

Despite quoting California law regulation titles and numbers as suggested by the OPP, neither person was unable to tell me what information was being collected (it's required to be disclosed by law, and I'm apparently entitled to a copy of it if I request). I was directed to the legal department and then told that I would have to send snail mail.

basset wrote:
It's good that you got the privacy commissioner involved in CA, but I might also suggest contacting your member of the State Assembly (who could embarrass them publicly or contact the Justice Dept), as well as some privacy interest groups who have the resources to get more attention than a lone individual.

I honestly am so out of touch with "back home" politics, I've no idea who my current representative is, lol... Hey, if anyone knows who represents Henderson County, Texas, speak up :P

More after next snippage

basset wrote:
...if this is indeed a violation of the privacy laws in California (I know nothing about CA), then SE at the very least needs to hear that they aren't covering themselves too well in the event of a future civil suit (read class action, god Forbid, if anything malicious were to happen to this information).

This is why I originally called California - the agreement's with Square Enix, Inc. (not Square Enix, Ltd.), SEI's based in California, and every agreement at the bottom mentions California law... it seemed logical to me & also to the people at the OPP >.<




basset wrote:
And SE doesn't need to scan running processes on your computer to detect cheating. If you can manipulate it on your computer and SE doesn't want you to manipulate it, then they should move that information server-side. If it's already server-side, they recording the data from and to your computer is more than enough to detect abnormalities--but to conclude, I'm quite confident that this is how they manage cheat/hack detection in any event.

Basset

QFT, though I'm still on disclosure issues, not purposes :D
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#34 Mar 08 2007 at 1:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Sioux wrote:
[I absolutely agree they should have it in the policy. The thing I don't agree with is the outrage.


I'd have picked "OMGWTFBBQ" or "shock" before I'd have picked "outrage" to describe my anger :P

Sioux wrote:
(don't let my tone get to you, I have a nastier tone than I mean to online).


Me too, apparently :D

EDIT: I did want to comment on this tho
Sioux wrote:
Quote:
You are renting an appartment, and the owner decides to install spy cameras in your appartment without telling you.

Lol would you just say "if you dont like it then leave the appartment"?


And this analogy would work, if SE were installing 24/7 visual/audio monitoring equipment on your computer. It's not the same thing at all.


It's a decent analogy, but you're right, it is lacking.

So I vote we replace it with "You're renting an apartment, and the owner decides to install a camera in your apartment without telling you, then takes a picture every time you enter your apartment."

I haven't run POL longer than it took to reread the policies since before the update, and I don't really intend to play until they update their policy. (Kind of sitting at wait and see. Would be easier if I could just casually say "Hey guys, respect our privacy rights and disclose now and in the future and I'll keep tossing you my $13, k?")

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 4:57pm by Arketa
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#35 Mar 08 2007 at 1:56 PM Rating: Decent
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WOW OP, nice work! This is really surprising.
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#36 Mar 08 2007 at 1:56 PM Rating: Decent
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Please scan the letter once you receive a copy. I'm sure many of us would like to see it.

By the way how did you determine that POL was scanning? I haven't ran POL since the update (still at work), did something tip you off?
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#37 Mar 08 2007 at 1:58 PM Rating: Decent
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There have been known issues where people have been banned for running anythign in that background that SE may not recognize. It coudl be virus protection, then you log onto FFXI and you are banned because they did recognize the app and considered it third party.

And SE has no right to tell you to open your computer up to potential threats.

I also hate the argument, that we just dont have to play, that is so weak, we are the customers, they bend over backwards for us, not the other way around.

What I think what will happen, they will get their report, say o crap 90% of pc users are running windower, so do we ban them all and destroy our game causing us to lose 10's of millions of dollars, or do we use this as a sign that maybe we should have put window function in along time ago.

There is also a rule that a tos cannot over ride illegal activities. They can put something in saying we can do this and that, and if the basis of it is illegal, it cant be enforced even though you agreed to it.

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#38 Mar 08 2007 at 2:00 PM Rating: Decent
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The only thing i'm afraid of right now is if their scan isn't "Built well"....like, say you have a 3rd party program running, but the scan will only send this information back as "3rd Party software"...

Then again, i don't know...i'm just a little worried that if i have limewire running music if it'll confuse that with windower in the process. Hmmm....i really hope not....i'm an actual legit player ><.
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#39 Mar 08 2007 at 2:00 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Who @#%^ing cares. Don't @#%^ing cheat morons and you won't have to worry about a **** thing. I am HAPPY they're scanning my processes. Because it's obvious Windower does not flag them at all. So too bad on the "OMGz! I GOT the Banstick for using Windower!" naysayers. Stop @#%^ing cheating.


So, if SE decided to jump from Scanning Memory to Scanning the entire computer, would you object?

What about if they scanned your entire computer and transmitted it in the clear? User names, Passwords, Bank Accounts, Websites you visited, etc.

Where do you draw the line?

Personally, If SE wants to scan any part of my computer, I should know about it. If SE wants to transmit the scanned information, I should know about it and how they are doing it. If SE uses that information, I should know what its used for. If SE shares that information, I should know who its shared with. It doesn't matter if its for scanning for 3rd Party tools or just statistical data.

Any privacy data has to be disclosed - is the main reason why you hear so many companies getting into trouble lately. They record information and share/release it to anyone. They profit off it, and you don't get any money off it. And when some identity theif gets a hold of it, the ones to suffer are the individuals who have no knowledge of this happening.

It is not your decision to determine what happens with my personal data.

And if I were you, I would question what SE is doing with it.

Are you 100% sure its for 3rd Party Tools? No.

Are you 100% sure its not going to be shared? No. (and chances are it will, most companies do NOT locally crunch huge numbers - They either send it out or bring in a team to do it. In each case, once they are done they are not bound by any agreement unless it was done before hand. If SE doesn't tell me they are collecting data, how can I believe they are safeguarding it properly?)

Are you 100% sure its not going to be sold? No.

Oh, and might I add, even if people are afraid of getting caught cheating, it still doesn't allow SE to break US privacy laws. Personally I could care less that someone is cheating in a game when it comes to a huge company mishandling personal data illegally.

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 5:03pm by Asmoranomar
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#40 Mar 08 2007 at 2:03 PM Rating: Decent
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ZOMG SE isn't doing anything to stop RMT, botters or 3rd party hackers.
ZOMG why is SE even trying to stop them with updates, they'll just adapt and be back in ten minutes.
ZOMG SE tried to stop them and the changes affect my <mining, quest, crafting, income, farming habits, etc> so now I'm *******
ZOMG SE shouldn't nerf anything, they should just ban all RMTs, botter and hackers and I don't care if they can't figure out who they are, they should just know!
ZOMG SE made the missions too hard and take too much time.
ZOMG SE made the missions too easy and now everyone can do them and I'm not as cool as I used to be.
ZOMG SE is scanning my processor list to find hackers onto their system and they didn't tell me. I hate them ONLY becuase they didn't tell me.

Okay the last one I'm actually on the side of players - but I think we can cut SE a little slack because:

A) SE is probably going to release an update of the TOS to take into account this new action.
B) SE is doing so much to meet everyone's needs that I think we can cut them a little slack.
C) It's possible their legal team is still drafting the updates. It's possible that they just didn't post the update yet.
D) Considering how much WIN this update had, we should be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

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#41 Mar 08 2007 at 2:06 PM Rating: Decent
Quote:
Is it a massive violation of your privacy to have to walk through a metal detector in an airport? Do you scream and cry and call the better business bureau or whatevertf?

Or do you go through the detector, knowing on the other side that everyone is less likely to be running around with a weapon or some other death-spawning thing?


This example is flawed. Ignoring the fact, by definition, a metal detector indicates a scan is going to be performed, there are signs posted everywhere saying that you and your baggage will be scanned. At that point you have the option to choose not to enter and not to fly or to agree to their terms.

The point is, they are letting you know beforehand what they are going to do so that you can make the choice. I do not agree with 3rd party programs or hacks of any kind and do not use them. But I do want to be informed. I want to know what is being done to my personal property so that I can then decide if I wish to proceed or not. I am in full agreement with the idea behind it, but I do not agree with it being done without my knowledge or consent.
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#42 Mar 08 2007 at 2:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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Aniclator wrote:
By the way how did you determine that POL was scanning? I haven't ran POL since the update (still at work), did something tip you off?


I started my update around 3pm EST yesterday, it didn't complete until around 10pm EST (my connection is teh poopy for big downloads - they get speed capped after a short time >:( grr), so I got bored.

Then someone posted this and I thought "haha another thread about 'In Soviet Vana'diel, FFXI hacks you!'" ****, a few posts in IN says he sees it every update, then some seeming conspiracy nut comes in and talks about SE keylogging you, and I even posted a picture of the 'suspected' ZOMG Super Secret Key Logging Program.

Haha, fun and games, right?

Anyway I was too tired last night to want to play so I went to sleep, woke up this morning, had a Dr Pepper browsed some websites, remembered the bit about the whole scanning thing and went "I wonder..."

Mostly I figured the screencap of ProcGuard was a photo manip. So, I blocked everything I had running from being read, and ran pol, and sure enough, pol seemed to care that I was running MSN, Thunderbird, Photoshop, and IE, none of which have a **** thing to do with FFXI.

But that doesn't mean anything, mind you. I mean, for all I know, it's scanning PIDs to make Windows ensure that it's running properly.

But still being a curious kitty and stubbornly unwilling to comply with Occam's Razor (and possessing more than my fair share of free time), I phoned POL and straight up asked.

I asked if pol.exe was scanning my processes, and was told yes, it was scanning processes and virtual memory looking for third party applications. At which point we get to the OP-OP I made above & me saying "but that's against the policy"

So, in short: about 1% suspicion based on other users' posts, and 99% me asking outright.
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#43 Mar 08 2007 at 2:14 PM Rating: Default
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Props to you, Arketa.

This is about our personal freedoms people. One of the major things that make us Americans. Our freedoms are being stripped more and more everyday under many different guises.

Some very smart people wrote some extremely well thought out documents many many years ago on all of our behalf. I wonder what they would think of our current situation today.
#44 Mar 08 2007 at 2:15 PM Rating: Good
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youssarian wrote:
ZOMG SE is scanning my processor list to find hackers onto their system and they didn't tell me. I hate them ONLY becuase they didn't tell me.

Okay the last one I'm actually on the side of players - but I think we can cut SE a little slack because:

A) SE is probably going to release an update of the TOS to take into account this new action.
B) SE is doing so much to meet everyone's needs that I think we can cut them a little slack.
C) It's possible their legal team is still drafting the updates. It's possible that they just didn't post the update yet.
D) Considering how much WIN this update had, we should be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.


"Yes, Mr. Corporation, I am willing to bend over and grab my ankles while you thoroughly violate me because a) you lack foresight b) you have an iota of customer service set up c) you're lazy and/or have lawyers who weren't pushy enough to make sure you had your *** covered before you stuck it our there and/or d) you updated your game."

Pardon the sarcasm here, but when the entire US lacks any firm, well drawn out legislation regarding your privacy rights (and otherwise) in the digital world, I'd prefer that, 20 years from now, we not all be screwed over because people like you didn't want to speak up over a violation because of "how much WIN this update had".
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#45 Mar 08 2007 at 2:24 PM Rating: Good
Seems like they just added their own version of Blizzard's Warden software without telling anyone, and repercussions be damned.
#46youssarian, Posted: Mar 08 2007 at 2:25 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) LOL
#47 Mar 08 2007 at 2:26 PM Rating: Good
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I should point out, that anyone being banned from the game due to any use of "Third party applications" while POL is being operated would have a legitimate cause for a lawsuit. At least until they update the ToS.

I'm cool with not using Windower. It'd be an annoyance to me, but one i lived with for a year before i realized there was such a thing as windower. But i need to be given the opportunity to KNOW that SE is scanning for it. Because there is no real information about the addition, it could be scanning my CPU for my bank records, for all i know. And why wouldn't it be? Because SE "wouldn't do that?" Really, how do you know? I mean, they never mentioned they were putting the scan in there in the first place...

Scanning the CPU for anything, without informing the owner of the CPU about the scan, is in violation of US Privacy Policies. While it might be legal in Japan and other areas, it's not here.

The outrage is not that they did it (although it might be for some), but rather that they did it without informing anyone.
#48 Mar 08 2007 at 2:26 PM Rating: Good
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I think while SE probably means well, the fact they are trying to hide it bothers me. It bothers me a lot. While I mostly play on PS2, I do have a copy of the PC version, one of which is installed on my work PC with confidential data.

If they scan processes now, and nobody says or does anything, whats to stop them from scanning files on your PC? on your network? What if they look at your web browsing history to find what sites you visit, get email addresses from your address books, and sell the information? What if the data they collect gets hacked? What if their collection method gets hacked?

I'm not saying that any of this will happen, but it's all definately possible, and by not speaking up now, you make it easier for them to do it in the future.

The road to **** is paved with good intentions.
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#49 Mar 08 2007 at 2:31 PM Rating: Decent
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It really scares me that people would give up their rights for a cause. There is no cause worthy of losing our rights for. Once they're gone, they don't come back. Some day if you need one of these rights to protect yourself from censorship or some form of tyranny and you let those rights slip away, you'll be sorry. Even if you don't ever face that, would you wish that on your children?
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#50 Mar 08 2007 at 2:33 PM Rating: Decent
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EDIT : I'm leaving the following post up, but be aware that i had started writing it before the OP had posted up his complete story :) The confusion was worked out on page 2.

I've been keeping up with this thread, and don't think i saw anyone mention any facts backing up that SE is doing this at all. the OP just started off with a phonecall to SE about privacy, he didn't really tell us what tipped him off. An no tech-savvy people have come on here saying "I checked and it's there, monitoring indeed" along with info on how to see the proof yourself.

I duno this thread is definitely one to watch, but I still have a nagging suspicion that this is just a SE representative's BS statement (just agreeing with whatever you ask to get rid of you) blown outa proportion. What hapened to this week's "Pics or it didn't happen" theme? I'd like some kind of substanciation that this scanning thing is hapening at all.

Point is, someone tech savvy check for this monitoring and report back! And OP if you did mention finding some kind of proof please point me to it cuz i missed it.

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 5:36pm by RattyBatty

Edited, Mar 8th 2007 6:14pm by RattyBatty
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#51 Mar 08 2007 at 2:35 PM Rating: Decent
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You are aware that far more companies than just SE are scanning your PC everyday, right?
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