The advertising technology scans your computer, finds out where you live

Electronic Arts today announced that Battlefield 2142 has shipped to retailers in North America and Europe for the PC. After ripping open the box, but before putting the disc into their systems, gamers may notice a slip of paper with a disclaimer written on it. CGW Podcast read the disclaimer on air, which we have transcribed below:

"The software may incorporate technology developed by IGA Worldwide, the advertising technology. The purpose of the advertising technology is to deliver in-game ads when you use the software while connected to the Internet. When you use the software while connected to the Internet, the advertising technology may record your IP address and other anonymous information. That advertising data is temporarily used by IGA to enable the presentation and measurement of in-game ads and other in-game object which are uploaded temporarily to the your PC or game console, and change during online gameplay. The advertising technology does not collect personal or identifiable information about you."

Essentially, the in-game advertisement system in Battlefield 2142 utilizes methods that most spyware use. By analyzing your computing and browsing habits, EA/IGA uses that data to provide targeted ads. It is unknown if spyware scanners detect and classify Battlefield 2142 as malicious.

EA announced in late August its agreement with IGA Worldwide to provide in-game advertising across a portfolio of games.

"Consumers are increasingly gaming in deep, virtual worlds and advertisers need adapted ways to reach these audiences," said Frank Sagnier, Vice President for Online and Strategic Relationships for EA in Europe. "The agreement with IGA is a first step in a detailed strategy to deliver advertising in a seamless format. We are continually looking at how to bring more connected experiences and services to consumers, and working with a network like IGA is a start to building this dimension of our business."

This is a radical shift from previous instances of in-game advertisements, where advertisers would purchase billboard space or product placement that would remain a part of the game forever. For example, Nivea is teaming up with UbiSoft to place its skin products and Philips Norelco shaving products in game-space bathrooms.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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