Blizzard Entertainment is receiving flack from some players for scanning players' computers for illegal cheats and hacks relating to the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft. Some players claim that preventing cheating and hacking is not a sufficient excuse to impinge on their privacy. Blizzard, on the other hand, says that looking for hacks in the actual game itself is not unreasonable, and points out that World of Warcraft's end-user licence agreement (which players must review and acknowledge before playing) explicitly states that Blizzard reserves the right to scan for hacks and cheats.
Putting information about the scans in the EULA is a good move (Sony ran into trouble with Everquest players because it performed similar scans without giving notice to its players), and this story highlights the importance of actually reading software licence agreements instead of just scrolling through and hitting 'I accept"?. Personal hard drives are increasingly open to prying eyes "? readers may recall that Microsoft generated much discussion when it announced new measures to verify that users seeking upgrades actually had legitimate copies of its operating system -- and it is a good public relations move to be as open about such activities as possible.