What Is Ubisoft Collecting

What Is Ubisoft Collecting What Is Ubisoft Collecting

We have decided to follow-up on complaints we have received from Heroes of Might and Magic V players who have contacted us about a little known utility which will send out information from the player's PC to Ubisoft. The main issue raised by the fans of the game is not the actual existence of the application but the company's unwillingness to fully explain exactly what information about the owner of the PC it actually sends to Ubi.

Once a gamer installs Heroes of Might and Magic V he will also get a little file called SendStats.exe and another, possibly related file, named UbiStats.dll. The first sign that something was up comes when during installation your firewall pops up with the following message SendStats.exe wants to connect to lb-iisdt.ubisoft.com [], port 443.

When asked about the use of the program and the nature of the data collected, Ubisoft responded:
Sendstats.exe is a small program that runs only while the game is running, and sends limited information back to Ubisoft. This information includes stats on how long you play our games, how often, when, etc. I was told that no additional personal or private information is being collected nor transmitted.

According to the Heroes of Might and Magic V EULA (End User Licence Agreement) which must be agreed upon installation of the game, Ubisoft has the right to collect limited data based on user behavior. Details on Ubisoft's data collection policies are available at https://www.ubi.com/us/Info/Info.aspx?tagname=PrivacyPolicy

Obviously, if you do not wish to allow this application to connect back to our servers via your firewall program, this is your right. I hope this information helps.

Players have found the response unsatisfactory as it does not explain what the term, limited data, encompasses. What has concerned gamers is the fact that the data collected are encrypted before being sent to Ubisoft. Ubisoft is, of course, required to protect your data from prying eyes but the company could have been far more open about its data collecting policy. A copy of the information sent should have been made available to the PC owner locally while informed consent, not just a sentence in the EULA, should have been sought.

It seems unlikely that Ubisoft would be willing to engage in any questionable data collection practices, especially so soon after the StarForce outcry and obvious back-peddle. We can only hope that the company will decide to do the right thing and be more open about the nature of the data collected. We are certain that most gamers will agree to provide information used for balancing purposes or hardware compatibility improvements.

Follow the download tab above for the full thread, locked until a full reply is received, in the Ubisoft forums.