Privacy in Gaming
Video game platforms and business models are increasingly built on collection, use, and sharing of personal information for purposes of both functionality and revenue. This paper examines privacy issues and explores data practices, technical specifications, and policy statements of the most popular games and gaming platforms to provide an overview of the current privacy legal landscape for mobile gaming, console gaming, and virtual reality devices. The research observes how modern gaming aligns with information privacy notions and norms and how data practices and technologies specific to gaming may affect users and, in particular, child gamers. After objectively selecting and analyzing major players in gaming, the research notes the many different ways that game companies collect data from users, including through cameras, sensors, microphones, and other hardware, through platform features for social interaction and user-generated content, and by means of tracking technologies like cookies and beacons. The paper also notes how location and biometric data are collected routinely through game platforms and explores issues specific to mobile gaming and pairing with smartphones and other external hardware devices.
Publication of the final paper is forthcoming in the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal in fall 2018. A grant from the Digital Trust Foundation to the Fordham Center on Law and Information Policy (Fordham CLIP) supported work on this study. The Fordham CLIP research team for the study consisted of Fordham CLIP Executive Director, N. Cameron Russell; Professor Joel R. Reidenberg, Fordham CLIP Academic Director; and Fordham Law student and Project Fellow, Sumyung Moon (FLS '18).