There are ghosts in your machine, and they are tracking you. Included with your copy of Battlefield 2142, at not additional cost to you, is software developed by IGA Worldwide for the purpose of in-game advertising. According to the packaged agreement (pictured), IGA can collect your IP address and "other anonymous information," which is a pretty vague and all-encompassing term. Could IGA check your browsing habits? We don't see why not, as long as it doesn't record your login information.

We already know EA is fond of collecting every factoid imaginable from your Xbox Live account, so this Orwellian tactic is not as a surprising as it should be. If you live in a country with strong laws against data collection, you'll be pleased to read that the data collection servers may be located "outside your country of residence," where such laws are less strict. The letter suggests that, if you wish to retain your privacy, you should play the game on a computer with no connection to the internet. Let's hope some virtuous hackers modders find a way to disable this software. You've been warned.

Click on the picture for the full size image or check out the transcription of the letter after the break.

[Thanks, theinvisiblemooseman]

[Update: EA clarifies in a statement.]

The Software may incorporate technology developed by IGA Worldwide Inc. ("IGA") (the "Advertising Technology"). The purpose of the Advertising Technology is to deliver in-game advertisements to you when you use the Software while connected to the Internet. When you use the Software while connected to the Internet, the Advertising Technology may record your Internet Protocol address and other anonymous information ("Advertising Data"). The Advertising Data is temporarily used by IGA to enable the presentation and measurement of in-game advertisements and other in-game objects which are uploaded temporarily to your personal computer or game console and charged during online game play. The Advertising Technology does not collect any personally identifiable information about you, and EA will not provide IGA with any of your personally identifiable information. The servers used by the Advertising Technology may, from time to time, be located outside your country of residence. If you are located within the European Union, the servers may be located outside the European Union.

By installing and using the Software, you agree to: (i) the transfer of the Advertising Data to servers located outside your country of residence and, if applicable, outside the European Union; (ii) the collection and use of the Advertising Data as described in this Section; and (iii) the delivery of advertising and marketing content of the Advertising Technology. IF YOU DO NOT WANT IGA TO COLLECT, USE, STORE OR TRANSMIT THE DATA DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION, DO NOT INSTALL OR PLAY THE SOFTWARE ON ANY PLATFORM THAT IS USED TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Viva Piata featured in WSJ (wha?)