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How the DSPR Affects the Games You Love

The GDPR replaces the EU Data Protection Directive of 1995, which forces every company in the world to comply with strict rules regarding the processing of personal data of European subjects. The rules have been adopted to protect EU citizens and raise awareness of how companies use their information. While the DSGVO approached tech companies that used and earned money on user data such as Facebook and Google, the broad definition of "personal information" ̵

1; from names and email addresses to biometrics and IP addresses – also comply with gambling companies. And that took time and money to avoid fines.

This is good for players in the EU who have a better idea of ​​what information is collected when they play, buy products or use services. Even gaming enthusiasts outside Europe will benefit as some organizations, such as Razer, view the General Data Protection Regulation as a privacy belief and apply it globally.

Like most conservation measures, we may never know whether the adoption of new regulations will prevent a catastrophe. "One of the things the DSGVO can do is avert possible future privacy scandals that may not even happen because of the law," said Jay Stanley, senior political analyst at the National ACLU. He cited Vizio's incident with smart TVs as an example to follow the behavior of users without their knowledge, a scandal that cost the company $ 2.2 million fine from the FTC.

"As with all programs and apps, gaming is nonsense, it's about collecting valuable personal information for users," he said. "We do not know exactly how much this European law will affect practices in America, but it can not hurt, and there is a good chance that it will provide protection."

It is unclear how much effort it has cost gambling industry to adapt to the DSGVO: no company that has been contacted by Engadget has revealed how much it costs to meet the requirements. However, like other technology companies, they needed to understand how user data moves through their operations, adjust their permissions, explicitly ask for consent when collecting information, and, in some cases, appoint their own privacy officer.

"Companies must document their data flows, register with the Privacy Shield, gain a representative from the EU, set up a set of updated data-processing agreements, learn how to respond to consumer queries such as the GDPG jargon, and so on Shaq Katikala wrote in a Reddit AMA last month, and helped law firm and studios through the DSG compliance process in his job at the law firm Morrison / Lee. "The vast majority of DSGVO work I do for clients is not for solving terrible scandals, but for the administrative requirements of the GDPR. "

Some older services and long-running games were closed Companies found the cost of updating higher than the benefits. Monday Night Combat just made enough money to get its server on the L But upgrading the Ubernet-based backend to comply with the DSGVO was not worth the cost, the game's CEO Jeremy Ables told Engadget. The company decided to shut down the game.

Similarly, Edge of Reality's Free-to-Play Shooter Loadout was closed because the company lacked the resources to update the aging game. Online gaming company WarpPortal announced that it will close the service for EU players for the 16-year-old MMO Ragnarok Online on May 25th. And keeping them online without complying with the GDPR is risky: under the new regulations, authorities can pay offenses up to € 20 million, or 4 percent of the company's total annual revenue, whichever is greater.

The GDPR was adopted by the European Parliament April 2016, giving companies two years to either fulfill or cancel services in the EU. In some cases, companies spend a little more time temporarily suspending European operations until they have all of their operative ducks in line, Katikala said.

"My biggest concern with DSGVO is that it is developing very quickly. Terms have yet to be defined," Katikala told Engadget. "Without answers even honest companies can go so far without further guidance."

Even within the EU, it had problems to find out how to comply with the GDPR. According to Jari-Pekka Kaleva, senior policy analyst at the Finnish trading organization Neogames, Scandinavian gaming companies met several times in Helsinki to ensure compliance. "I think everyone in the DSGVO now knows what it means, but there are still companies that have unanswered questions that they need to understand, so it's a step-by-step process," he said last week opposite Engadget. [196592002]

This confusion has spurred fear into gaming companies. The studios have tried to make sure that they are compliant by mapping their flow of user data and updating their Terms of Use (ToS). Some very small indie playmakers never had a ToS document, so they had to create one. Established companies like NVIDIA have updated their data protection centers and policies with clearer languages ​​and new features, as required by regulations. Some, such as the peripheral and computer maker Razer, have introduced dedicated GDPR resource sites to help consumers understand their extended data rights under the new law.

But compliance with the DSGVO was not significant enough to kill more than a few old games, so your favorite publisher is probably safe. Some game studios, especially those that produce offline single-player games, did not have to do more than tweak their ToS. Big game publishers and companies that deal with personal data have teams of lawyers who have been working behind the scenes for months, if not years.

Nevertheless, the gaming industry must continue to expect privacy policies like other non-US countries. The EU is considering adopting its own versions of the GDPR. Players have more access to and a better understanding of how businesses use their information. But the impact of the new rules on the actual games will probably be subtle. First, it will be much harder for companies to use player information to study or market them without their knowledge.

Large studios sometimes gather information about how players move in their games, refining the gameplay called telemetry. The new transparency requirements of the GDPR require that companies be informed more explicitly about the way they investigate player activity. But most benefits of the DSGVO for the players can be invisible to them. The rules apply to any company processing personal data, which means that gaming companies are theoretically looking for third parties to whom they provide player data. Studios had to check hosting providers and advertisers and drop those who violated the new rules, Katikala said. This could prevent the information from players from being resold by unscrupulous companies.

Gambling companies were probably not the first objective of the GDPR, but given the vast language of the law, they also had to commit to doing business with EU users. The result is better privacy for players inside and outside Europe and clarity about how their data works. But if these new policies cause information to fall into the wrong hands, gambling has been rewarded with avoiding data breaches.

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