TechSpot

World of Warcraft secretly embeds user data in screenshots

By Shawn Knight
Sep 11, 2012
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  1. A new report suggests that Blizzard is secretly embedding unique watermarks into World of Warcraft screenshots taken using the in-game screenshot tool. The watermark reportedly contains the account ID, a timestamp of when the screenshot was captured and the IP...

    Read more
     
  2. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 880   +231

    Blizzard keep track of every damn thing with WoW and always has. They search for patterns and monitor ALL player accounts to some degree, some more then others.
    On a side note I am actually pretty excited about the new expansion but I think they could cut the monthly fee down some... @ $10 a month I would consider turning back on my glass cannon space goat.
     
  3. RubinOnRye

    RubinOnRye TS Rookie Posts: 57

    Do you smell that?? Smells like class action lawsuit... and it smells GOOD!!!
     
  4. treeski

    treeski TS Guru Posts: 880   +130

    Just another reason I'm glad I jumped off the WoW bandwagon a few years ago...
    ... and am now very much enjoying GW2 :D
     
    ikesmasher and Alexmx like this.
  5. All I have to say is : so what?
     
  6. treeski

    treeski TS Guru Posts: 880   +130

    So with privacy being the hot topic that it is (and will continue to be), people should know when their personal details (in the case, especially account name) are being distributed to everyone without their knowledge.
     
    psycros likes this.
  7. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 973   +99

    Warden apparently snoops through your files (or maybe just the active processes which PB also does).

    Blizzard does not need to track down PServers, just look at voting sites. I doubt they would want to ban their subscribers who play on PServers, if they did that to me I would of quit WoW long time ago (well Iv already quit since jan/feb 2011).

    As long as they don't go into private data that has nothing to do with WoW, I honestly don't care.
     
  8. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 973   +99

    WoW was a solid game until 3.3.5 or near 3.3.5 and after that it was rather appalling. But that is just my point of view, I much enjoyed Ulduar times and S4,S5,S6,S7 as well as a Arena Player. S8 was alright but WOTLK dragged on. During Cata early days, I was already juiced out and decided to quit near the end of T11.

    imho WoW has lost its touch. I think future of MMOs is F2P/B2P and MTs that are not game breaking. But then again if the game is good enough and people like it, then the SUB fee is not really a problem.
     
  9. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Enthusiast Posts: 127   +36

    As far as I know, the "AccountID" is an internal Blizzard thing and not your login name or BNet name. So at most someone can deduce what time the shot was taken and what realm you're on and someone can probably figure that out if you don't black out your character name and the game clock anyway. This whole thing is avoided by using JPEG at the highest quality level, TGA, or PNG for screenshots, so big deal. This reeks of Activi$ion-Bli$$ard chemtrail paranoia. Guess what? Bobby Kotick already knows your IP address.
     
  10. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,120   +723

    Chemtrails aren't real?! What?

    This whole 'they're watching us' campaign is so stupid, it's making TS look ridiculous. You guys are seriously embarassing yourselves.
     
  11. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 566   +105

    Yea..Our browsers aren't tracking our information. Our webcams and cellphones can't be remotely accessed. People don't use our information to make money. Our governments don't actively monitor our web use to profile us. Companies don't collect our emails and other information to spam their products. None of that stuff happens.

    Techspot..what were you thinking?? :p
     
    psycros and H3llion like this.
     
  12. "

    Just another reason I'm glad I jumped off the WoW bandwagon a few years ago...

    ... and am now very much enjoying GW2"

    You do realise guild wars 1 did this exact same thing, only they never hid it they made it public. I wouldn't be surprised if guild wars 2 did it as well.
     
  13. dennis777

    dennis777 TS Enthusiast Posts: 281   +32

    So diablo3 and SC2 screenshot might have contain the same embedded data?
     
    psycros likes this.
  14. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 973   +99

    Anyone can track your IP and the general location you live at if you are part of forums or register on a website. That is unless you are using Proxy Services / VPN.
     
  15. complexxL9

    complexxL9 TS Member Posts: 30

    Most probably that data is used to track down and ban accounts which are posted on sale with screenshots, or for posting some exploits etc.
     
  16. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 973   +99

    Posting exploits? Whaa What I gathered they take SS of your screen, the ingame screen not randomly taking screens of your monitor while not playing. Of course when you play with more then 1 monitor maybe the screenshot would contain a screen from the other monitors ...
     


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