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Another Software Spy

michael posted more than 14 years ago | from the don't-they-learn dept.

Quake 720

quakeaddict writes "LinuxQuake is now reporting that ID Software has indeed embedded some code to send, among other things, information about our PC's to ID Software. They should ASK before they start gleening information from my system." John Carmack's explanation on the page is unconvincing - video card data is sent independent of support requests and would be impossible to link to some user's email address, so it's useless for support purposes. (more) (update:This isn't as big of a deal as it sounds. read the update)

No, the second writer on LinuxQuake has it right when he says "It's market research." id doesn't care about current support, they want to know what cards to support in their next software release.

But the reason doesn't matter. The important part is that the software is doing something that it doesn't advertise and that isn't necessary for the operation of the software - sending information about your computer back to id software, which is mentioned nowhere in documentation, readme, EULA, website or installation. id calls it research - I call it a trojan horse program, and if I went into id's offices and installed a similar program that reported back to me on their machines, I would go to jail for it. If I convinced id to download and run it, by disguising it as, say, a video game, I'd go to jail for plain old fraud as well as the computer crime. That's 18 USC 47 section 1030, for the curious. It's been used against a number of 1337 d00dz who weren't quite 1337 enough.

So why does id think this is fine and dandy for them to do?

I like id's games, but this is not a joking matter. Software which performs functions beyond its stated activities is uncool (read: illegal), especially when those functions are spying on their users. Any sort of collection of data from user's machines, even relatively mundane data like the type of their video card, should be announced by the software and in the docs, and users should be able to opt out of it. How much bad press is it going to take before softwre companies get a clue? Or will the first hint they get be when an ambitious prosecutor serves a search warrant on them one day?

Update: 11/28 10:41 by michael : From various posts below and email received by yours truly, it looks as though id did have notification of the data-collecting activity in previous releases of the demo test; but not in the most recent one, for whatever reason. Perhaps the story should be about quality control on readme files. The basic point - companies need to be very open and upfront about things like this, even for benign purposes, and give people the option to opt-out - still stands, but it seems that id just made an error rather than tried to hide anything.

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not sure what to think (1)

lunatik17 (91135) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498331)

If it's just to see which are the most popular cards, then I guess I don't really have that much of a problem with it--but you really can't ever be sure about exactly what they're actually keeping track of. Personally, I could do without this.

Also... (1)

Monty Worm (7264) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498332)

As a programmer, I've written plenty of stuff that contains features other than the ones I tell people about.

They're called bugs.

Stuff like that happens. Not that this in any way lets Carmack+Co. off anything....

Hmmm. (1)

viper21 (16860) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498333)

Not sure how bad this hurts if they only send my Video card brand and model #... if they're stealing my ethernet MAC address, or some random stupid serial numbers for programs on my computer, then I would have a problem...

Check out the new case I made at the url above. The BookCase! Just a case covered with a book, take a look to see what I mean. Just click on the computers section to get at it.

Scott Ruttencutter

There outta be a law... (2)

caferace (442) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498334)

I'm one of the first people you'll hear railing against government encroachment into the regulation of the 'Net, but enough is enough.

There should be monetary penalties for this sort of thing. Hit companies where it hurts, in the pocketbook.

Sue 'em! ;) (3)

retep (108840) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498335)

Well if such data collection is illegal why not sue 'em? Tell the judge that the program is a trojen horse just like any other and see what happens. With some lobbying you could probably win if the privacy violation was great, say in the case of lots of personal data getting tracked. Id would probably win in this case but not other companies...

paranoia (1)

Hygelac (11040) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498336)

I don't see anything wrong with the info that gets sent back. It's an easy way for id to get a snapshot of their userbase. i'll personally be glad to send them packets stamped with "Linux."
"Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow 'er."

I trust Carmack (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498337)

He's proven he's got the integrity as a person. This is merely a snafu, or just something he simply deemed wasn't a breach of privacy. Shall we put "Warning, this product sends UDP packets out to the net" labels on everything now?

In ID's defense ... (2)

nd (20186) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498338)

Come on, it's nothing more than video card information and Quake version. This is hardly a violation of privacy... I read the argument that "that's not the point", and that the software shouldn't do something it doesn't advertise, but I think this is going overboard. Let's not get ridiculous people.

This is harmless. So please, be sensible, don't make it out to be something more than it is.

Betrayal (2)

Lothar (9453) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498339)

I would never expected ID software to do such a think. What where they thinking? They could have been so stupid that they didn't consider the bad publisity this will generate.
Without doubt this will be do more damage than good for them. Even if they get all the information they wanted. Bet it won't take long before they remove the trojan horse from the software.

Re:Sue 'em! ;) (2)

Elvii (428) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498340)

ID doesn't have to lose, just the bad PR is enough to do them major $ harm... think about it, first FPS games are (wrongly, imho) connected to things like school shootings, so bad PR like a privacy lawsuit might be one foot in the grave for even big companies like id, thanks to PC and privacy-crazy folks. Not that being privacy crazy is bad, mind you. If parents don't let kids buy Quake VIII, or don't buy it themselves, then I doubt if the ./ type buyer is enough to keep id alive..


bash: ispell: command not found

Lighten up... (3)

jstepka (20825) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498341)

I'm going to have to agree with what's going on here. I'm sure that there is something in the EULA about this, and using their software is not a right.

it's simple...

HW_VidType getVideoInformation() {
// getting video card information to make games cooler and know if we need to support old crappy hardware.

EULA (3)

robertchin (66419) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498342)

Personally, I believe that things like this should be allowed, as long as they are mentioned somewhere (product packaging, EULA, etc.). Sometimes data collection is over criticized, such as the original implementation of cookies in Netscape. The bad press that cookies have recieved has rendered a good thing useless; people now reject cookies because they don't understand them. Data collection is overall better for the consumer. If you don't like this policy, all one needs to do is not buy the product. Since you've paid for a product, you have to accept what's included in it (unless it's open source). There shouldn't be any reason that this type of feature should be prevented -- it benefits the consumer. As long as they are not collecting information beyond what they should (credit card numbers, etc.), it provides a way for companies to better adapt their software towards consumers needs.

ID??? (1)

Yebyen (59663) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498343)

I really liked ID too... I thought they were software for the people, by a cool person. Carmack was one of my favorite people. Was. He should've publicized this before now. I don't appreciate being told that some marketing exec now has personal data about my computer, something that I would've gladly given out had I been asked. 90% of people don't care who knows what kind of video card they have. I tell people all the time. But I doubt if anyone appreciates that information being taken from them without their knowledge. That's today's rant.

This needs attention (5)

mikera (98932) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498344)

This is going to get more and more frequent, I am afraid.

Unless something is done.

I think some kind of binding code of practice needs to be swiftly adopted. Specifically, users must be warned in advance if *any* information is going to be collected, generated or transmitted from their machine.

I know that there may be legitimate reasons for a company to want to send information back to their server. But if it is going to happen, then the user absolutely must be informed about it.

It's also yet another good reason to use open source software - that kind of abuse simply can't get past a well informed community based on peere review.

Re:In ID's defense ... (1)

Fantome (7951) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498345)

This is a step, and a fairly big step IMHO, in the wrong direction. Why, if they can send the video card info, why can't they send your hard drive size, or OS version.
And then maybe your registry, your /etc/passwd file, or maybe just /var/spool/mail.
You have to draw the line somewhere, and I say better to draw it too far than too close.
Just less ambiguous that way.


This is a "we should sue" case (2)

Tester (591) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498346)

Those companies collecting data for "research" purposes are really getting on my nerves. When it was from Microsoft, I was not surprised at all. From RealNetworks, it was a but more surprising, but not that much. But id Software doing it is really to much, a company which I trusted and I've always been a fan of their games, but that may really make me consider banning all of their games if they do not make the appropriate apologies and publish a fix asap. This is really a case that could be use to see if we could win large damages that would make other companies think a bit more before doing that kind of stuff. Suing RealNetworks or Microsoft may be more appropriate.
And I dont buy the argument that it is purely to do market research, because their are many easier ways to find out what the people are using, like having a registration system where I would have the choice (and I would have no problem giving them that information).

This kind of behavior has to stop, it is not admissible and we, as a community aware of the problem should have an active role in the reprobation (boycott) of those companies...

Trojan horses in software (2)

Marcio Silva (97075) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498347)

I think it might be too late to do anything about this, really for one major reason.

Most people don't care.

The majority of consumers purchasing software don't really care (or don't know enough to care) about maintaining the privacy of their computer components. A lot of people would gladly trade in a little bit of privacy in order to gain the percieved notion of more robust software.

Most people would not only accept, but also welcome the idea of their software reporting information back about their systems if they were given the explanation that it would make future software run better on their computer.

If people cared about their digital privacy, wouldn't there be a much bigger stink about cookies?

The idea of a game that sends back video card information, for the goal of making future releases work better; isn't that far away from the idea of a site keeping track of your web surfing, for the goal of making your future visits more pleasurable.

My Beef (2)

Ex Machina (10710) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498348)

I would appreciate it if they would write an explanation of EXACTLY what information they stored. I don't care about my hardware specs. I do care if they grab my email, ip, hostname, username or personal gameplay info. (No... you cannot use my skills as a model for Quake AI)

Come on (4)

rcromwell2 (73488) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498349)

This simply records your OS, Video Card, driver, etc when you play. It doesn't expose your personal information.

There is no difference between this, and the User-Agent HTTP header that is sent. Oh, the User-Agent doesn't expose video card, BFD. (but you can sometimes get at screen depth/size depending on browser scripts/java) Most naive users are unaware that info is sent, and browsers don't prompt users either.

The level of paranoia on Slashdot has reached all time high. Next thing you know, ID will be charged with the high crime of recording their player's IP addresses on their central server.

ID has done this be4 (1)

CrAlt (3208) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498350)

They left a back door in the older versions of the Linux quake server software....oops! I thought they learned with that fuckup but i guess not.

I would have no problem with sending my vid card info back to them, as long as they asked 1st.

Could that be illegal in Europe? (3)

headshrinker (37311) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498351)

Er, going by the fact that Intel may be blocked from selling the PIII in the EU due to the serial number in each one (see couldn't that affect the release of Q3 in Europe? Though it's not a serial number that they're using, it's the fact that it could in effect be used to track what hardware people are using. If id don't put in a way of disabling this, or at least doing the same as Netscape have done with their feedback software (I forget the name), then it's feasible they could get into trouble for this.
I can't see how it can be used purely for support purposes if it's sent irrespective of a problem, and there's no way of linking the information with a helpline caller.
Just a few ramblings by someone who can't see how the saving of data could be linked to support...

Who cares? (1)

Pyroclasm (80081) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498352)

Personally, I have no problem with them getting the information about my video card, but i think that this is about precedents as well. If we let Id Software get away with it this time, who can say that other companies (or Id Software) won't start doing this with more important information?


Re:Also... (2)

Yebyen (59663) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498353)

But you don't "accidentally" program code to check data about a computer and then send it to you. This is not a bug, it's an undocumented feature. A feature I'd prefer didn't exist, and I'm offended that it does. Fortunately I'm willing to let ID off of this, considering that I'd gladly have given them this data had they asked. I would've even attached a name to it. I'm not excusing ID, just saying I'm not going to boycott them.

who cares? this is incredibly harmless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498354)

there are more important battles to fight. phone companies are going to sell records of who you call so that marketers can better target you. that's right, who you call. who cares if someone knows what video card is in a computer that plays quake? it doesn't send back anything that identifies you, so you are completely unharmed. quit your bitching. it is harmless to you.

"Undocumented Features" (1)

Super_Frosty (82232) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498355)

Are you saying that any piece of software that does something that is not explicitly advertised is uncool(read:illegal)? The Real Jukebox? The "NSA key" in Windows?

Call the sherrif, and tell'm to book Bill Gates on a billion counts of fraud!

Re:In ID's defense ... (2)

Elvii (428) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498356)

True, but will that help their image when people tend to go crazy over any type of invasion of privacy, even something this minor? Bad PR builds up and is never good for a company, remember.. Should be a box during install to say "Allow my vid card info to be sent to ID for develoment reasons", imho. and probably unclecked by default..


bash: ispell: command not found

Clue-free zone (1)

Sylvestre (45097) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498357)

Has someone let loose a bunch of clue-zappers recently? This behaviour is what I expect from Microsoft and AOL, not id software.

I guess everyone needs to stumble once before they fly. id has been flying so high for so long it makes you think of Icarus.

I wonder if UT does this? If not, looks like it might be time to get behind Unreal Tournament and ditch Quake ]|[

If it's really so harmless... (5)

sjames (1099) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498358)

I agree with the posters who say that video card info isn't really all that big of a deal, BUT (and it's a big one) Since it's not a big deal, couldn't it just pop up a window (first time only) saying I'd like to tell ID that you are using a wiz-bang 5.32 Video card, is that OK?. I'd click yes to that one personally.

Sending without asking is at least rude, and sets a bad precedent. What info will it be next time?

I have to wonder, is that video card data really worth the stink this will cause?

Yeah, but were's the border? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498359)

graphic-card only?
graphic-card plus processor-type?
graphic-card plus processor-type and hd-infos?
MAC address?

AirMiles, Credit Cards, Shopper Points (4)

FFFish (7567) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498360)

Hmmmm. I wonder how many of the people who bellyache about Quake are also people who use a credit card. Especially one with AirMiles. Or who participate in a grocery store discount card program. Or department store discount card program.

All these things track your purchases, providing the store with valuable information about the spending habits of your demographic.

Hopefully, most of you were clued in about what's *really* being done when you use these cards, and made a knowledgeable, active choice when signing up.

[which is, I guess, my point: iD could easily have done some sort of payback-for-information thing. Perhaps those people who said "yes" to releasing the info/letting iD track them would get a bonus level. Just like Safeway gives you a discount when you give them info about your personal spendng habits.]

This is not a secret (4)

sterwill (972) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498361)

I wouldn't call it common knowledge, but I've known the q3tests did this for months. They've never hidden anything, and Carmack has seemed quite clear in other situations in explaining the purpose of the packets sent back to id. They're for identifying the cards so id knows how many users are using specific OpenGL library sets. If you don't want them to know, recompile Mesa to send them another string, or just don't play the game. It's not some dubious conspiracy to steal your secrets. I like it when the author of software cares enough about the product to make sure it will actually run for its users.

I'm not a big gamer, but the q3tests (and the recent demo tests) are very impressive. I'm also a fan of good software, and you can't write software if you don't care what your users want. If you write software that, for example, requires $15,000 worth of graphics hardware to operate, or comes without source code, or only runs on embedded ARM systems, your software is of little use people. If you ignore what your users need, they'll find someone else's software to use. If you're a proprietary software company, you might get all worked up about this, but if you just want better software as a computer user, you end up getting just as little.


Calm down nutcase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498362)

Who the hell cares if they know what video card you're using?? Now if it searched my drive for interesting personal documents, then I'd have a problem.. but personally I could care if they know what video card I'm using, and I don't see why you care.

starcraft did the same thing (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498363)

Blizzard got sued, but so many people protested the suit, it got dropped. I guess the moral is: if you make really really good games, you can do whatever you want to people's computers and get away with it.

a little here, a little there (2)

embrionic_pete (100252) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498364)

Not to sound like a privacy fanatic... regardless of the intentions, if someone is collecting data about my machine without my consent.. it should not be tolerated. Remember all the well known Quake mod conversions that were shutdown by id.. basically on the grounds that if they don't stop them now, no matter how small a project, regardless if it has no intention to go retail... they could lose their footing in court later on if someone does severely abuse it. This is the same matter.. if something isn't done now, what's to stop them from collecting "a little more information" down the road. cheers

Re:Hmmm. (2)

Quaternion (34622) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498365)

I understand that your video card brand and model number aren't as immediately important to your long range security/privacy as serial numbers and network addresses. But I think that, regardless of the number, it's the principle that's the same. Once people start grabbing some numbers off of your computer while you are unawares, they can start justifying getting more and more information.

The argument that they use to justify getting more and more info is a "slippery slope" argument; if getting some information isn't illegal, then it shouldn't be illegal to get a little more. And finally, they have access to *all* the data that they can grab from you.

Think it won't happen? Think again: information about consumers is about the hottest thing you can have in the industry today. Businesses that lose money are still popular with investors, because they have the *potential* to be in a position to gather this info. (And it's not just today too; I watched Glengarry Glenross again last night; rent it, and watch Pacino, Spacey and others fight over "leads"). The way to stop this kind of abuse is to stop it at its root. Dont' let *any* info get collected without your permission and legal safeguards. That way, you never have to worry about any slippery slope fallacies.

Re:In ID's defense ... (4)

Jonas ÷berg (19456) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498366)

So what IS a violation of privacy then? What type of processor you have? How much diskspace you have left? How about all of those "innocent" things together?
We have here a group of people who say, "yeah, well, it's not such a big problem." What they are doing is giving up a small part of their privacy. Instead of protesting against this, the have the idea that it's okay to lose a little of your privacy because you get to play a nice game instead. Remember that whenever you lose some of your freedom or your privacy, you always get something in return, some small thing which you get to have, or get to know. What we must do is resist the urge to say "well, it's not so bad after all," and really stand up to tell them that this is unacceptable behaviour and that we would rather not play their games than lose parts of our privacy.

... *sigh* this is like what's better... (1)

sporty (27564) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498367)

vi or emacs? dos or windows? unix/*nix and distribution and version?

Basically it boils down to you are sending info without my authorization, even if its just simple hardware data or....

you are sending only hardware statistics. Who cares?

I declare this subject null and void ;> We might as well ask, what is better, waffles or eggs and bacon. Yeck.. I hate eggs.


other than stated activities (2)

Medieval (41719) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498368)

well hell, lets sue the hell out of microsoft their products do a LOT more stuff behind the scenes than they explicitly tell us about seriously, folks, get a grip.

Is this really so bad? (1)

vitaflo (20507) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498369)

So now the information is out, and ID will get to know what 3D card you're using. Do I care? No. Will others care? Yes. But the fact remains, that you KNOW this will be happening when you play the game. If you don't support this measure taken by ID, don't buy the game. Speak with your pocketbooks people.

With that said, this could just as easily not been found out, and we could, in the coming months, be sending info to ID without being the wiser. I say be happy you know what ID and their software are doing. That's more than I can say for whatever M$ software does.

In the end, I don't think this is a call to action to boycott all things ID (IMHO). If them knowing what 3D card I have or what system I run Q3 on helps them with thier future sofware, I say more power to them. That information isn't any hair off my back. In fact, I can see it helping out certain platforms and speeding up the game dev process, which in my opinion is a Good Thing (tm).

However, I realize I'm not like everyone, and it would be nice to have the option NOT to send out information if we don't want to. I think this is a simple and fair solution that would make both sides feel better. Choice is a good thing.

It's not clear why I should care. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498370)

Can anyone elaborate on the reasons why I, as a Quake fan, should be alarmed about iD Software collecting market-research information which is 100% uncorrelated to any user IDs, email addresses, MAC addresses, or any other means of identifying me as an individual?

I work in the games industry, and believe me, the more we know about what % of our customers use 3Dfx versus nVidia, GL versus D3D, and so on, the better we can tailor our products to deliver the best possible experience to the greatest number of users. The data being transmitted back to id by Q3A can't possibly be used for spamming, law enforcement, license enforcement, piracy prevention, or any other purpose besides the obvious one: letting the company know what type of hardware support its users would like to see. I am having trouble seeing the downside of this practice from either point of view -- as a game programmer and a game player.

What specific reasons does the Slashdot crowd have for considering this practice to be a "privacy violation"?

Follow-up to my own post (1)

sterwill (972) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498371)

After browsing a few more comments, I realized I had forgotten to address two points.

When id left the backdoor in Quake/QuakeWorld servers (I don't remember which), that was just stupid. Honest mistakes happen, but sometimes people have other motives. However, I can't see what id wants with Joe Random's week-end QuakeWorld server, so I can hardly attribute malice or an underhandedness to their actions.

My second point is that Quake 3 is proprietary software, and as such, you (the user) get what you get, and no more. If proprietary software has deliberate back-doors, bugs, gaping security holes, well, you can just wait. If I had the code for Quake 3, I'd leave in the code that sends those UDP packets with my OpenGL vendor's tag to id (you, personally, could remove that code), but I would be able to run it on my PPC Laptop (which is something I can't do now). Oh well, I have no choice, such is proprietary software.


There are no bugs... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498372)

There are no bugs, just unexpected, unplanned, features.

Actually, I have put features into software that I did not tell users about. Some of it is for diagnostic purposes, some is for later work.

Putting in code to send information from or about your machine without authorization is another thing.

This might make an interesting criminal trial.

Injured software engineer wins against Mattel. Mattel still retaliates. []

Don't overreact... (1)

LordStrange (19871) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498373)

I submit that this action by id should be viewed with the least amount of paranoia possible. Yes it is rude but it isn't evil. Carmack has behaved honorably in the past and this serious breech of etiquette is merely a breech of ettiquette.

It's good and right for people to bitch about this but try to be forgiving.

PS: (to those quake seeky enough to follow the plan files) What did you think was for??? I was afraid it would be used for dark purposes and I'm releived it's use is as innocuous as it is! (May Carmack not make me recant my relief!)

Not the first time (1)

altair1 (71744) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498374)

As some one else noted, this is not the first time Id has done this type of thing. A while back they had a back door in the quake2 server that would allow instant administrative access to any player coming from id's subnet. Carmack apologized and claimed the backdoor was placed there for debugging purposes and was not supposed to be in the release version. A patch to remove the backdoor was summarily released. The entry detailing this from Carmack's .plan can be found on this page:

http:// it.x=25&submit.y=4 []

not than many options, shurely. (1)

BenHmm (90784) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498375)

forgive my ignorance, all you graphics people, but there aren't that many options are there? I mean, why does id need to know what sort of card I have when there are maybe 3 or 4 main types anyway, and they all have to work with opengl to play the game?

and what a damn good game it is. so there goes my boycott.

Re:My Beef (1)

helopigs (37160) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498376)

It's really not as bad as it sounds. It tells them which renderer you use (and thus which video card), your operating system, your version of quake. No information that can be used to identify you personally. A picture of the packet can be found at

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with them doing this, but it angers me that they don't tell you that they are.

So what? (1)

RAruler (11862) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498377)

So, are you going to not purchase Quake3 just because it tells id what kind of video card you have? Talk about being paranoid. I personally could care less about information being sent to some company via their software. If Real knows what songs I listen to, does that make a big difference? If seeing what video cards the people that buy Quake 3 use, perhaps it will allow them to make a better product, if not one person is using a archaic piece of crap video card, then they won't have to add support for it in later games. It's not really invasive as long as it doesn't stray from stuff like your hardware.. Their not going to call you up and laugh at you because you still have a VooDoo 1 and your trying to play Q3A.. Cut the paranoia crap..

Re:other than stated activities (2)

Yebyen (59663) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498378)

Yes but these "undocumented features" can truly be called bugs. I'm not talking about stuff like the NSAKey, I agree that MS should be sued over that one, but i'm talking about the constant freezing, the BSOD, etc... all that stuff we don't like.

Anyway, my point is that you don't "accidentally" code a section that gathers data and sends it somewhere. This should not be tolerated, no matter what. Don't boycott ID, I love them, but do send a strong (non-swearing etc) letter to ID protesting it.

Think in bigger measures (1)

Blendi (111760) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498379)

All I can hear is: Thea take our video card specs, they could take our mac#s etc. ever thought of: they could take your pgpkeys, they could send your entire /home/ or whatever ? if you want security, dont use proprietary software. if u want to use proprietary software, you loose security. thats the way it is.

Be like pine (4)

weave (48069) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498380)

What bothers me is that the more companies do this kind of thing, the more and more it will become acceptable. Most people will eventually throw up their hands and stop bitching.

Personally, I hate it. It's a slippery slope. Once we stop bitching about just sending video card info, then next it will be more personal info.

I can see the need for market research. Pine (the e-mail program) collects information over the net, but it ASKS YOU FOR PERMISSION FIRST. I have no problem with this kind of action. It's stuff going on behind my back without my knowledge that spooks me. I should be able to choose to be counted.

I'm sure if, for example, Id wanted to know how many quakers were using each OS, most of us would be damn eager to be counted. Just ask first. Is that so difficult?

HTTP-USER-AGENT, Oh my god! (1)

rcromwell2 (73488) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498381)

Did you know that whenever you connect to a web site, most browsers will tell the server what your IP address is, what OS you are using, and sometimes your CPU and screen resolution? Shocking!!!!

I shudder everytime I think about it. George Orwell was right. Jack van Impe was right. We live in a police state. We are being watched everywhere.

Who knows what's next. Today, you video card. Tommorow, Carmack will have have speech recognition in Q4 sending analysis to the marketing department and Echelon. Not to mention video webcams recording you masturbating to porn sites.

Time to go live in the woods like the Unabomber. It's all over on January 1,2000 anyway.

Re:It's not clear why I should care. (1)

embrionic_pete (100252) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498382)

I also work in the game industry. I understand what a pain it is to develop for x amount of cards... however, that still does not justify collecting data without my permission. Where do you draw the line? ips, macs... maybe I should just install a copy of vnc or back orifice so they can collect even a bit more data for "our benefit".

Re:It's not clear why I should care. (1)

moebius_4d (26199) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498383)

How about this-

Their software collects information from you without your consent. If it's not a big deal to anyone, then it shouldn't have been big deal for Carmack to include a dialog saying "iD would like to collect information about your video card to help us serve our customers. This information will be used for no other purposes." or something to that effect. Instead, iD elected to cause people's computers to report information to which iD is not entitled.

It's not their right to decide for you. That's why it's a big deal. If I pick a penny from your pocket it's no great loss, but it's wrong.

Wake up people! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498384)

Ok, its pretty obvious that theft of information is occurring.

People say they don't mind, because the particular information is not important to them. Its pretty important to ID Software...

Does it matter how important it is to the victims?

ID makes good games, but looks like they have a bit to work on in the areas of morals and legality.

my 2 kopecks

Right: It's not invasion of privacy, it's theft. (2)

evilad (87480) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498385)

Look: They want this information to the point where they're willing to run the risk of pissing people off by taking it without asking. Doesn't that suggest that maybe the information has some intrinsic value?

Doesn't that, in turn, suggest that it's theft?

Your "not a big deal" argument falls flat. If someone breaks into my house and doesn't steal anything except some silverware that I don't want anyhow, does that make it OK? This sounds like 100,000 counts of petty theft to me.

Don't freak out at ID... (1)

Killer_Rabbit (56297) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498386)

There is no reason to jump all over Id software's case... It probably never occured to them that people would get so bent out of shape over this. They admit to the fact that they are taking information from our computers, and they have told us why. What more do you want from them? It's not like id is taking information that you would have gladly volunteered.

The community should making an effort to educate companies about this and not flaming them into oblivion. Besides, even if we did sue id, I doubt we would win anything more that they have to put up on their webpage a warning that q3 retrieves various information about your hardware. No cash.

Also, now correct me if I'm wrong on this... don't cookies have a similar function, i.e. they take data from your computer without your knowledge? Wouldn't that also qualify as being illegal? I don't really understand what the difference is.

Re:There outta be a law... (1)

wook (114159) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498387)

If you want to hit the company where it hurts the most "in the pocket book." Then dont wait for the government to do something about it. Do something about yourself, dont buy the software. I dont agree with what ID is doing, but if you play the game and you know about the info being sent then you can say nothing about it, because you are the one letting it happen.

Part 1: The Complacent Sheep Effect (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498388)

I believe it is self evident that it is wrong to be sending information about your computer, uninvited, to someone else's machine. It's bad enough that the web browser encroaches into this area.

Second of all, ID gave no mention of this in their EULA or website or anywhere else. This is a common courtesy, I don't care what the rest of you think. If information is being sent to a third party site, when you're playing Quake 3, then you should be told it's being sent. That needs no justification. It is common courtesy. Period.

Stop being a bunch of complacent sheep. When it comes to your privacy rights there is no "I don't see anything wrong with this" or "let's not get ridiculous, people" or "lighten up." There is a solid law against this kind of behavior, and there is the solid issue of common courtesy. Stop bowing down, people!

Now, on to part 2.

Yet another example (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498389)

While Id's reasons for doing this may be legitimate, the morality of such a move is questionable. Obviously, such things should ask permission before sending data. Now I'm no Stallman; i don't think there's anything wrong with closed-source or not-free software. If you work hard on something and want to sell it, that's your business, and I use a lot of closed source software. But, it's making me trust less and less anything I don't compile my self. God knows what kind of similar things are embedded in Windows. I'm just glad that for my mission critical systems, I use Linux and OpenBSD, and I can peer at the guts of my OS to my heart's content.

Re:AirMiles, Credit Cards, Shopper Points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498390)

Yes, but I agreed to the discount store card and they pay me what I deem to be a fair market value for that information.

If they didn't I would stop using the card.

oh my gawd!!!! (1)

Mr. Punkle (104037) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498391)

Isn't this kind of a knee-jerk reaction to something that we don't know all the details about? Is this information being sent when you engage in a single player "bot game" of q3a? It's doubtful. The information is being sent to ID when you connect to THEIR master server. (right?) Really, what's the difference between this and a site recording your os/browser in its logs? Or setting a cookie and then selecting a banner to be displayed while you view web pages on a site? Surely people aren't mad about this because it's in invasion of privacy - really, there isn't much of that around these days anyway. ID Software isn't selling your soul to marketers, it's generating statistical info about the folks playing the game. While you're bitching, I'm enjoying the game =)

Re:Is this really so bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498392)

Sure, just setup a firewall rule to deny anything being sent to ID's network, or wherever the hell they are sending the packets.

But, alas, Quake sucks. So, I don't have anything to worry about.

Set Packet Sniffers to "STUN" (1)

Stormbringer (3643) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498393)

Call it a wakeup call both folks like Carmack and ourselves.

To Carmack et al, a warning: open-source is a state of mind as well as a distribution method. Up-front disclosure will get you far more cooperation than stealth, along with sharply reduced incidents of villagers with pitchforks storming the castle.

To us: Even though ID's little surprise didn't have nefarious motives and methods, both subsequent copycats and those already doing it whom we haven't yet noticed probably will. Carmack and company have done us the offhand favor of reintroducing, with new urgency, the game of spot-the-packet, coming soon to an eth0 near you.

Re:In ID's defense ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498394)

As most of the replies to this post say, the line should be drawn somewhere. Certainly, that is common sense and we should really consider what that line *is*. This kind of awareness is valuable in our community, and while the whining seems like white noise after a while, it sometimes churns out coherent sounds and decrees that represent us and defend our privacy. Another point that should be considered (which is probably already addressed elsewhere) is that we should watch for double standards. If we rip Real a new one for compromising user information while excusing ID on the other hand, we create inconsitencies and allow precedence for other groups to screw us over. Consistency and a strong voice are both factors that keep us afloat and empowered both as consumers and as creators of content.

The nerve... (1)

nanotech (34819) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498395)

A "reliable source" told me that Q3 actually sends positional information about where your player is located in the game map, and what they are doing, back to the server you're using!!! Can you believe that?

What's next, web browsers sending your IP address and browser type along with requests?

All kidding aside, can you think of one way that this specific information being sent will significantly affect your life?

Slashdot should memorialize this quote... (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498396)


If I pick a penny from your pocket it's no great loss, but it's wrong is the single most effective statement I have ever seen against people who have no problem with 'minor' intrusions against their privacy. I want to use this quote and give you credit for it. This is an true classic. Way to go man :)

I am personally not buying anymore id software... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498397)

How dare they steal information from my computer without compensating me for that information?

I price such consumer information at $5.00 for each peice of information.

What video card do I have? Pay me $5.00 and I will tell you.

This is a free market, if you don't want to buy the information from me you are free to go ask someone else.

I consider a company collecting demographic information from me without paying me for that information to be a form of theft. And I will not associat with anyone who steals.

I guess Loki gets my business until they screw up, and by the time they do there will be other, honest companies that I can start buying from.

Missing options (2)

harmonica (29841) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498398)

There is more and more software (esp. in the Windows world) which sends 'background information' of whatever type to I-don't-know-whom. What scares me a bit is how automated this has gotten - MS media player 'phoning home' to get new codecs etc. I think that most of the time the user _does_ benefit at least in a way, but I (as an advanced user -- read: I can look at the Options menu and understand what the checkboxes and radio buttons mean) want a switch that says [ ] Don't send user-related information. Better, make it the default that no user-related information is sent (then again, you as a software creator probably won't get much back). The only alternative is to use open-source software only, but you won't have much fun with gaming in that case...
I think it's sad that esp. id which has gained so much confidence from the open/free source community in the past does this. A simple note in the README would have been enough. On the other hand, they know how many people look closely at their game (to create third-party tools, maybe even to manipulate gameplay) so that they should have known that somebody would find out sooner or later.

Re:paranoia (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498399)

There is a problem with sending this stuff back without asking. If a piece of software i start up says "Hey, for marketing reasons, we'd like to send us the make and model of your video card" I would gladly press OK. But, if it does this without your knowledge, that's definately immoral. It's an invasion of privacy. If you want (or don't mind) to give away information about your computer/house/family/etc., fine. But some people do. I don't mind, usually, but I DO mind if it's done without my permission.

Omigosh! (3)

Lx (12170) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498400)

I saw something just like this the other day! I went to this website, and my browser told the server what Web browser, version, and operating system I was using! Then I sent an e-mail and it said what mail program and my domain name!!! And sometimes, when I connect to a Quake server somewhere, it tells the server the exact IP address that I'm playing from!

Programs that just bandy about my personal information like this have to be stopped. Let's all sue iD, Netscape, Microsoft, Real Networks, and any other company that writes programs that send any non-arbitrary information of any kind over the InterNet.


Our friends at ID? (1)

shaunj (72350) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498401)

I'm finding myself being a bit forgiving because it is the one software company that we all love, id software. These guys have always been the best, open to the community, serving the community. I guess it just comes as so much of a shock that they would do something more characteristic of "The Man". I don't mind giving out my video card info, but comon id, you really should tell us openly. I mean, id has always been in a sort of open disscussion with the whole gaming community. I'm sure that if you had asked us and told us that you were doing this we would all be more than willing.

the sheer hypocrisy is astounding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498402)

when real did it, it was 95% condemnation, only a few people made blatant trolls saying it didnt matter.

when id does it, 80% of the posts are making some bullshit excuse "oh, its nothing that confidential", "oh, but I trust id"...

you cant have one rule for companies you 'like' and others you 'dont like'. you're hypocrites. get over it.

Re:That's why i will never use not OSS anymore. (1)

Jose (15075) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498403)

While I do agree with the benefits of OSS...I highly doubt that you have gone through all the source for everything on your system.
"If i cannot see what the program does i do NOT trust it."
the above statement, to me, means that _you_ have gone through all the code...If that were wouldn't have time to even read /. You'd still be running through the kernel source..or your shell's source, or the source for gcc, or if you run X, X's source, and Mozilla's, and your window managers..etc.
I would imagine that you have created your own BIOS software, since the code for most BIOS's are closed.
It is somewhat true that you yourself don't have to go through it because "so many others" have already, but that is not what you said.
I am also surprised that you would even consider using a credit card, since the software that runs credit card readers are closed. I'm sure that your credit card company keeps close track of what you buy, and where you are..then sells it off.
You don't actually use a bank, do you? All their software is closed. And I'm sure that your bank has loads of info on you.
good luck never using closed software any more.

Carmack's explanation does make sense (2)

zlern (68543) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498404)

Carmack is saying that the data is used to model the user community, then by correlating that data with the support requests you can tell which platforms are unusually buggy (or stable). The Slashdot summary is being unfair when it characterizes the data as "...useless for support purposes."

Carmack quote from the LinuxQuake page:
"It has mostly been for tracking the amount of support we give by video card vendor. For instance, 3dfx and nvidia are about equal in players, but we get 10x the support email for 3dfx users. [...]"

However, this is addressing the question of usage (and even then only with the "mostly" qualifier), not the question of intent. Based on the datagram, the intent is to be able to model the user community, and it is very similar to the data any website could collect about their user population from http headers.

Not again. (3)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498405)

"Another Software Spy"
Really should be "Another iD software spy" because they had jepordized security and privacy before.

IIRC, certain versions of Quake 2 for Linux would let anyone from the IP block have remote shell capabilities. If you ran the server as root, you gave someone at iD software your computer on a platter. I read this on a page that listed possible remote exploits and security concerns for Linux a while back, and can't find the link at the moment (it was back in April that I read it).

If true, then iD, while good gaming wise, is certainly not to be trusted. Time to recheck the firewall rules, as having a CM makes it far too easy to let lots of data through.

Re:Trojan horses in software (2)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498406)

The majority of people didn't care that they were paying too much for telephone service in the United States, but something was done about AT&T. Just because the majority of people don't care doesn't mean action can't be taken. The American Revolution was won by a committed minority. In many ways, in a democratic nation, a committed minority is more powerful than an apathetic majority who don't care one way or another.

Quit whining and thank him (1)

anholt (3908) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498407)

There's no invasion of privacy worth caring about here. I'm glad they're grabbing the vidcard info. Are they collecting usernames? IP addresses? Vital personal info? No. Just your vidcard and OS (anything else?). All it can do is help you be supported in the future. Isn't support what we need so much? I would certainly like support for my TNT2.

Really, John Carmack has been doing an incredible amount of work for 3d support on Linux. I see as many glx (for xf3.3 matrox/nvidia) commits from him as from anyone else, and his explanations of current problems/fixes on glx related stuff is always great. He doesn't need to do this. He doesn't really need to put all this work into Linux Q3 (another 5% of market for probably 2x work? pfff.). Quit whining about little stuff and thank him for all the work he does.

Has anyone mentioned the word... (1)

Len (89493) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498408)

... GameSpy?

Unsolicited Divulging of Information (1)

_dim (15419) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498409)

This trend is so terribly disturbing... It doesn't matter how much or what info is being transmitted back, it is the fact it is transmitted at all, without prior consent.
I'll research this thoroughly, since these sort of rumours always have to be taken with a grain of salt, and if it is true, I will definitely stop buying id Software products.
Sad but true. :(

A little too far... (1)

jmweeks (49705) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498410)

I think we need a little perspective here.

What ID has done is basically for support, with few (I'm guessing none) alternative uses. Contrast that with, perhaps, Blizzard's Starcraft tapping into the Windows Registry. Calling what ID has done illegal seems to me preposterous. What do you think a test version is for, anyway?

Jose M. Weeks

Re:There outta be a law... (1)

caferace (442) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498411)

Bzzzzt. That's simply not the point. I've already purchased the game, and assumed goodwill. I can hurt the company in potential future purchases, but I've already been harmed.

In this case, I think they should be severely fined, after due justice and investigation.

Re:The nerve... (1)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498412)

A "reliable source" told me that Q3 actually sends positional information about where your player is located in the game map, and what they are doing, back to the server you're using!!! Can you believe that? What's next, web browsers sending your IP address and browser type along with requests?

Though I understand your humor, those cases are different. The HTTP protocol, an open standard, requires that your IP and client get sent in the request. And if you're playing a game, well, duh. But this sends information that is neither necessary, nor does anyone know it's being sent.

free market. (1)

Lx (12170) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498413)

You're right. It is a free market - don't play quake.


Data Packets (2)

DaveHowe (51510) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498414)

I can't see it making THAT much difference what is sent - it is the fact they are getting a packet from you whenever you play the game, saying "person at IP address xx.xx.xx.xx is playing Quake". Microsoft would *kill* for the right to do that for their packages....

Call for boycott (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498415)

You should start boycotting companies, making money selling out your privacy. I am starting with the followings: and all their clients a data mining company, tracing, matching and making huge profit out of your personal information, you can't even get to their site with cookies disabled...

Add your suggestions here!

Oh get off it. (1)

reethaxor (72303) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498416)


Oh my god, it just sent my video card information to id! Whatever shall I do???

I bet the government is behind this. In fact, I bet it encodes my email address, social security number, and credit card number (don't forget expiration date!) inside of this information somehow, and sends it directly to the FBI, NSA, and CIA headquarters!

Seriously, we need to chill out about all of this paranoia. Is this harming anyone in /any/ way shape or form?

This post was mere knee-jerk reaction.

Re:Don't freak out at ID... (2)

shaunj (72350) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498417)

I'm sure they didn't have any idea people would freak out. And knowing ID, they follow the community so closely (becasue they are part of it... i mean you can e-mail Carmack if you are really that pissed and he will probably reply), that it will probably be addressed shortly. What is this talk about sueing them? common.. it's ID! I think at this point we should let them know that we are feeling violated, and that they should ask/tell us next time. Knee jerk reactions are anti-productive. It is better to let them know that we don't like it and they they should go no further than to overreact and threaten them.

Does anyone know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498418)

if this "feature" is in the actual demoTEST release, or if it's just in the final release? I ask this because everyone is saying that "it's not in the EULA", but if the trojan is only in the full release, and no one has the full release yet, then there is no definite way of telling if id HAS asked permission.

It's "id" NOT "ID" (1)

idealego (32141) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498419)

It's "id" NOT "ID"

and a lot of you call yourselves Quake fans sheesh!

Okay, I give up... (1)

rm -rf /etc/* (20237) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498420)

What the hell does 1337 mean?

Glad to see it. (2)

scumdamn (82357) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498421)

This, more than anything, shows me that John C. cares about the product that he releases. He's statistically comparing the number of 3dfx support emails per capita to the number of nVidia emails. This absolutely doesn't upset me. I'm not keeping what video card I have or what operating system I'm running a state secret. I'm guessing he didn't give the option of saying no every time it wants to send that information because of at least two reasons:
A: It's be fscking annoying.
B: All the paranoid people of the world would say no and their support emails in would affect the numbers.

Part 2: Take Definitive Action (3)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498422)

  1. First. Check out the web page where the picture of the UDP packet transmission analysis was posted.

    • Notice that the outgoing packet is This is where the data is being sent!
    • Go to your /etc/hosts file and add as ip address

      BOOM! Those packets no longer go to id! They are stopped dead in their tracks. Problem solved, end of discussion, battle over, your privacy is (in this case) secure.

  2. Second. Isn't the US Code a criminal law issue? Why take this to civil court? File criminal charges against them. The complacent sheep can argue and flame all day, but they can't stop the law. The law has more money than id. id will back down if they are prosecuted criminally for this behavior, in fact if they even receive an official warning they'll back down and send out a patch to either warn the customer or take out that 'reporting' feature. Then, after the conviction or the backpedal, you sue in civil court with the criminal proceedings to back up your case.

    If you are looking to take legal action and you sue id first, they can drown you with legal defense money. Never try and sue a company in civil court first, if you can press criminal charges.

And in case you wondered, I am a long time id software fan. However I am also extremely impartial. It's nothing personal; they not only violated people's privacy, but they also did not inform anyone they were doing it. I am holding off on buying Quake 3 until I know they've patched this and apologized about it.

Re:It's "id" NOT "ID" (1)

shaunj (72350) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498423)

I know... but "id" gets lost in the context of a paragraph. I kept typing "id" in my post and it didn't look right so I switched it to "ID"

besides... it's changed over the past few years to many times :)

Re:AirMiles, Credit Cards, Shopper Points (1)

jkovach (1036) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498424)

With credit cards, if you read the fine print, it tells you what information they collect and what they do with it. These disclosures may be mired in legalese or otherwise obfuscated, but they are there. According to this article, nowhere does ID say they are collecting this information. It would be less of an issue if they mentioned this in the EULA.

Re:Trojan horses in software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498425)

That gets to be a problem, as lobby groups and 'committed' minorities start taking over. That's called oligarchy (if my memory serves). Do I have a problem with lobbies and minorities? No. I just think that it's a stupid world we live in where a person can't make a joke involving a black^H^H^H^H^Hcolored^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hdark skinned guy^H^H^Hperson without being labelled racist. And it's generally ok for them to take shots at the majority. Now, am I advocating oppressing them? Lord no, what ever happened to simple equality???

some points (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498426)

first: id has to match this to some personalized data. imagine, if you get dozens of packets "blabla linux 3dfx" how do you tell that this is not one user playing dozens of time, but dozens of users playing once each? How does id solve this problem technically? A database storing the packet info and the IP address could do the trick.

Well, this gives me a bad taste. HOWEVER, market research is necessary. I think it's cool that Carmack does the work for a market share of five percent. (and remember... quake I was available on Linux at a time where the average slashdot reader was still fed by mom). So I clearly understand that he wants to know at least which gfx cards are used and which are more worth supporting and which are not.

Even if the single-standard OpenGL for Linux comes true, there will always be specific tweaks and workarounds for certain gfx cards. He just wants to know if it's worth doing particular tweaks.

I guess when Quake is labeled "I send the video card AND ONLY THE VIDEO CARD type to our counter", most people will accept it. I would.

And btw: This is another example of slashdot-over-hystery. I'm very concerned with privacy. If you want to do something for privacy, you can bash ECHELON, the NSA, CIA, you can use GnuPG, ... But bashing Carmack for this case is pretty ridiculous. Anyway, man ipchains be your friend. Just block sending of packets to id's network.

Re:HTTP-USER-AGENT, Oh my god! (1)

jlaporte (33428) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498427)

>Did you know that whenever you connect to a web >site, most browsers will tell the server what >your IP address is, what OS you are using, and >sometimes your CPU and screen resolution? >Shocking!!!!

You miss the point. The IP address is obviously sent if you plan on getting the web page sent back to you. And all of this info sent is *documented*. It is not kept secret. Also, users are not so surprised to find that a web browser, whose whole reason for being is to connect to networks to exchange info, sends documented info back the other way. Quake, in single user mode, has nothing to do with connecting to networks.

it's called privacy + not just vid card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498428)

id has no right to any of my information unless I specifically give it to them.

> information which is 100% uncorrelated to any user IDs, email addresses, MAC addresses, or any other means of identifying me as an individual

that is not true. For many people with static ips, the ip is a very good way to identify the individual. And even for dynamic ips, the isp can look up who it was.

not only do they know your vid card, they also know how often and how long you play. They have no right to know that I play 4 hours every other Tuesday at 9. What I do in my free time is none of their business

it is fine for the server I connect to to collect these stats because I am going to them. However, I am not going to id and they don't even have the right to know that I play q3test.

Sure, it's just "market research". You know how much other info companies would like to get their hands on in the name of "research"? Any grocery store should be able to look in your refrigerator to see what brand of pickels you buy. Toilet makers should be able to determine how often you go to the bathroom. Pharmaceutical companies should know every time you get a cold. And of course every time you make love, condom manufacturers should be informed whether or not you were protected.

Re:Okay, I give up... (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 14 years ago | (#1498429)

1337 == 31337 == the hacker spelling for eleet or leet which is the slang version of "elite" or "damned cool as hell". (ooh fear the contradiction there hehe)

Some fact checking in order here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1498431)

Ummm, you missed the point, by a mile.

The fact is, everything you discuss is well documented by many RFCs, CGI books, even simple HTML coding books. What you discuss was documented and existed before almost every browser in today's world existed (maybe not old Mosaic beta versions...).

If you can't be bothered to RTFM, then that's your ass on the line. It was documented.

BUT: Here's the clincher [and what you missed]. ID didn't document this "feature" anywhere. _That's_ the difference. There is no reasonable way for an "average" person to find this out. You shouldn't have to watch your own packets flow, or (illegally) decompile your software to figure out what it does.
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