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 Battlefield 2142  In-Game Ad Disclaimer Causes Ruckus

Battlefield 2142 In-Game Ad Disclaimer Causes Ruckus

October 17, 2006 | By David Jenkins

October 17, 2006 | By David Jenkins
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A number of consumer game websites have expressed privacy-related concerns over the disclaimer for new Electronic Arts title Battlefield 2142 regarding its in-game ad system, which is powered by IGA Worldwide and includes certain anonymous tracking information.

[UPDATE - Gamasutra has conducted an interview with IGA's Justin Townsend in which the company CEO explains exactly what information his firm's in-game ad software uses during its operation.]

This has led to online references to the system as 'spyware', though this is clearly not explicitly true, and the system used is presumably broadly similar to other in-game ad technology already being used in games. However, a flyer included with the European packaging of the game explains that the game incorporates technology developed by IGA Worldwide, which may record your Internet Protocol address and other anonymous information.

The flyer further states that the data is temporarily used to enable the presentation and measurements of in-game advertisements and other in-game objects which are uploaded temporarily to your personal computer or game console and changed during online gameplay.

Assurances are also given that the software does not collect any personally identifiable information and that EA will not provide such to IGA. The flyer also makes several references to the data being used outside of the European Union, apparently in attempt to permit the application under EU laws, which specifically prevent user information being sent outside of the EU without prior permission.

Electronics Arts signed in-game advertising deals with both IGA and rival Massive Incorporated in August, when Battlefield 2142 was announced as being the first of a three game deal with IGA. The first game to use advertising technology from Massive will be Need for Speed: Carbon, released this autumn, although the companys privacy policy indicates that it "does not install persistent tracking mechanisms on game players computers".

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