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What the Fog Game Sparks Discussions Over Privacy Concerns

Know where your data is going!




What the Fog game gameplay

With the release of What the Fog some time ago, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of discussions surrounding the new roguelite. This cartoony co-op from the creators of Dead by Daylight is already getting positive reviews, but one concern has sparked up in the forums. Observant players have noticed worrying aspects of the Privacy Policy, and here we’ll be discussing the ins and outs.

The Privacy Policy Problem

In this age of terms and conditions, accepting something without reading it is practically second nature, but this isn’t always a good idea. Luckily, some perceptive people picked up on just what What the Fog asks in its Privacy Policy.

From section 2.1 of the policy, some of the personal data collected by the game is your:

  • Delivery address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number(s)
  • Information stored on your device, e.g. friends’ lists and login info
  • Names, including usernames or other identifiers
  • Gender
  • Date of Birth
  • Profile Data, such as your username and password, purchase history, interests, preferences, survey responses, and any information you input when contacting Support
  • IP address, browser information, plugins, OS, platform, and any other technical data on whatever device(s) you use to access their services
  • Details about payments to and from you, plus details of the purchases made

Unsurprisingly, some users have described it as the worst privacy notice they’ve ever seen in a game. But, is it actually the worst?

Worst Offenders

At the end of 2022, Epic Games was fined over half a billion dollars by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations. This press release explains that $275 million was for violating the children’s privacy law, COPPA. The remaining $245 million was a refund to consumers after design tricks caused players to make unwanted in-game purchases.

Fortnite item shop in-game purchase
Is it any wonder Epic Games has made over $9 billion from this game alone?

Only a few months before, VPNOverview had posted their research on The 20 Most Difficult to Read Privacy Policies on the Internet. While most companies on the list were shopping or streaming sites, two gaming companies made the cut: Xbox and Nintendo. Both had privacy policies which took over 15 minutes to read and required a college-graduate reading level to understand.

Understanding Privacy

The most important aspect of privacy is understanding how you might be at risk. This includes what data might be taken from you and how it might be used. While reading the entire Privacy Policy might not be an option, it is a good idea to at least check out the section on personal data. That way, you’ll know what you’re getting into.

In addition, you should have access to Privacy Settings. Make sure you turn off access to anything you’re not comfortable with, such as location tracking, camera, or microphone access. Proton VPN‘s article on Online Gaming Privacy also gives you some tips and tricks, as well as explaining where the biggest risks are.

2FA Two Factor Authentication Setup Screen
Two-factor authentication is a fantastic idea for account safety online.

As a takeaway, always remember to stay aware of where your data might be going online. Use a VPN, don’t share any personal information, and don’t make impulsive in-game purchases. Remember that it’s better to miss out on a new game than risk your privacy!

Still happy to play What the Fog? Check out our article on how many friends you can play with at a time!

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