Greg Hoglund took a closer look at the popular online roleplaying game World of Warfact analyzing the traffic that the game exchanged with Blizzard servers over the Internet. According to Greg a software know as the "warden client" is executed every 15 seconds on all World of Warcraft clients that are currently playing the game. Here is what Greg found out about it:
Gregs conclusion is that the warden client can be declared to belong to the category of spyware. The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) calls it a massive invasion of privacy.
According to the EFF Blizzard has come up with three responses:
The thing is, warden does at least scan personal information and process these findings. In other words, a privacy invasion takes place even though Blizzard claims that no data is saved.
That's no excuse, is it ?
Well, I don't know a lot of gamers who actually read the EULA of a game and Blizzard surely knows this.
Hoglund released a tool called The Governor that watches the activities of World of Warcraft, and clearly reports which data is being read from other processes. You can download it at Greg Hoglunds site.
Update: The site appears to no longer be available.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.