Glider from the game of Life, rising from the left




Topic: #video-games

Video Games and Game Devices Are Surveillance Tools


Practically all video games, apps, consoles, and platforms now collect location data, contact lists, and biometric data on players and sell it to advertisers.

“Privacy in Gaming”
N. Cameron Russell, Joel R. Reidenberg, and Sumyung Moon, Center on Law and Information Policy, Fordham Law School, March 19, 2018

There are currently many different ways that game companies collect data from users, including through hardware (cameras, sensors, and microphones), platform features (social media aspects and abilities for other user-generated content), and tracking technologies (cookies and beacons). Location data and biometric data — like facial, voice, heart rate, weight, skin response, brain activity, and eye-tracking data — is now routinely collected while gaming. In mobile gaming, requests for access to a user's contacts or address book are common. …

There may also be an interrelationship between data collection, game functionalities, and external hardware items like the Apple Watch or the smartphone device. Moreover, gaming companies have business relationships with each other. Data flows extend beyond the game and game console, and game data is often aggregated with external partners and sources. Every game and platform … examined states that game data may be shared with advertising platforms or used for advertising purposes. Although there are some avenues for opt-outs and user choice, users may have difficulty discerning the identities of third party affiliates with whom gaming companies share data even after reading the relevant privacy policies.

#surveillance #video-games #data-mining

Hashtag index

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Atom feed

John David Stone (

created June 1, 2014 · last revised December 10, 2018