Blizzard comes out clean after WoW pants-down plans
Mild wrist-slap after threat to expose goblins
Blizzard looks set to escape with nothing more than a mild rebuke after it abandoned plans to oblige members of the World of Warcraft (WoW) forums to reveal their real names.
More than 20,000 posts objected to the move of WoW forums, forcing Blizzard to ditch its Real ID plans.
Some of those angry about the move also complained to UK privacy watchdogs at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). A spokesman from the ICO said that it had received 17 complaints from members of the public by Thursday.
A spokesman said there was unlikely to be enforcement action because Blizzard didn't actually apply the controversial changes, which would have violated data protection guidelines. Blizzard would have needed to tell people up front that it intended to use their real names on forums rather than using data (in this case real names) for reasons outside those explained at the time the data was collected.
ICO officials are likely to contact Blizzard only to confirm it hadn't applied the planned change, and possibly to remind it of its responsibilities under the data protection regulations, rather than embarking on any enforcement action.
WoW players upset by the move objected in large numbers to Blizzard's privacy de-cloaking plan complained to the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The games industry group erred by sending back a mass mailed email reply to all the complainants, using cc instead of bcc, so that recipients could see a huge number of email addresses belonging to fellow complainants.
ESRB quickly apologised for the cock-up.
Meanwhile Blizzard is proceeding with its optional in-game Real ID system, which is already running in WoW and due to appear soon within Starcraft 2. ®
Re: tinfoil hat much?
Only if tinfoil hats are required to read Ts&Cs nowadays. And that would be bad, because tinfoil hats *attract* government mind control rays. See?
Though note that the researcher himself is wearing a tinfoil hat, so clearly that's the government mind control rays speaking.
On that note, I find it interesting in the chinese sense that you assume tinfoil hats when Ts&Cs are brought up in polite conversation. I'd almost suspect you're wearing one.
In a fantasy world ...
In WoW I would have expected them to have REAL trolls.
I'll get back under the bridge ...
epic.... truly epic....
"by sending back a mass mailed email reply to all the complainants, using cc instead of bcc, so that recipients could see a huge number of email addresses belonging to fellow complain"
Well done lads, round of drinks all round!
Still Not Compliant
Hah, I was one of those 17! Still though, they are using data for purposes other than which it was originally collected. Having specifically enabled "parental controls" on my account to disable 'Real ID' ingame, when I play the SC2 Beta I am confronted with my name after I log in. Surely this is more of the same; using data for purposes other than which it was originally collected. While it's not a terrible problem because it's still 'private', it means I couldn't record video or make a live broadcast of my game without making myself known.
A Blizzard spokesman commented "the righteous Alliance members support these protective measures, as they have nothing to hide thus nothing to fear, whereas the immoral Horde...................................... "