Are software programs designed to catch cheaters and software pirates and report them a violation of privacy? That's the central question in an online debate between security expert Greg Hoglund and Blizzard Entertainment, the maker of the popular World of Warcraft game.
Three weeks ago, Hoglund discovered that Blizzard's games also install a program, dubbed "The Warden," that checks a player's computer memory for running processes that match certain software tools that are considered cheats. The check is automatic, only reports violators, and explicitly allowed under the terms of service and end-user license agreement. Hoglund, the CEO of software analysis firm HBGary, argues that the anti-cheating tool is also spyware.Blizzard disagrees.
"Reading the memory of other processes and windows that are not part of the World of Warcraft game client is a violation of privacy," Hoglund wrote in the post announcing the new tool. "Making a violation of privacy legal in your EULA and TOS does not make it also moral. It remains a violation of privacy."
Posted by: Robert Lemos