ArenaNet confirms it used invasive spyware in the Guild Wars 2 engine
ArenaNet has been found to spy on players in Guild Wars 2.
During March 6th to the 27th, there was a line of code in the software that affected all players who played Guild Wars 2. Based on a post on reddit, it was found that ArenaNet used spyware in order to ban cheaters and hackers from the game. IT was later confirmed that they used it to find “programs that allows players to cheat and gain unfair gameplay advantages.”
Sure, this is okay. It’s not the first time something like this has happened. Blizzard Entertainment uses a similar process called the Warden Client which looks for specific identifiers for cheating programs and then uses that to ban the player.
However, ArenaNet would look for all CPU processes and relay that info back to their servers. This is pretty much everything that players have available on their PC running at that current time. This is a shotgun approach and is unnecessarily invasive to privacy. Warden had some problems met by players as well. Cheating and hacking protection is one thing, but another problem is how much data is taken and sent back to their servers to analyze and ban players.
In the current build, ArenaNet has removed the code and doesn’t use the same process as before. How they use their software to detect hackers now is unspecified. Updates will ensue when a confirmed answer is available.