Blizzard secretly watermarking World of Warcraft screenshots with user data

#1
From slashdot:

"A few days ago I noticed some weird artifacts covering the screenshots I captured using the WoW game client application. I sharpened the images and found a repeating pattern secretly embedded inside. I posted this information on the OwnedCore forum and after an amazing three-day cooperation marathon, we managed to prove that all our WoW screenshots, since at least 2008, contain a custom watermark. This watermark includes our user IDs, the time the screenshot was captured and the IP address of the server we were on at the time. It can be used to track down activities which are against Blizzard's Terms of Service, like hacking the game or running a private server. The users were never notified by the ToS that this watermarking was going on so, for four years now, we have all been publicly sharing our account and realm information for hackers to decode and exploit. You can find more information on how to access the watermark in the aforementioned forum post which is still quite active."
http://games.slashdot.org/story/12/...secretly-watermarking-world-of-warcraft-users
 
Jan 23, 2010
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#15
Why is this bad?
It's like buying a camera and secretly there's a hidden message with my name, address, and all sorts of information I didnt want on my photo. And they were secretly doing it. Its a total breech of privacy in my opinion.
 
Jun 10, 2004
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#21
I don't see what good your user ID, time, and realm IP does to anyone but Blizzard. Remember that you log into Battle.net with your email address, not your user ID. Your user ID is pretty useless.
 
Mar 14, 2012
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#25
It's like buying a camera and secretly there's a hidden message with my name, address, and all sorts of information I didnt want on my photo. And they were secretly doing it. Its a total breech of privacy in my opinion.
dont buy androids or iphones. but yes, its bad.
 

Bisnic

Really Really Exciting Member!
Dec 5, 2008
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Tuchanka
#26
By userID, they mean the email adress we are using for our Battle.net account? At least my password and randomly generated authenticator number isn't in there. :lol
 

scy

Member
Jul 20, 2007
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College Station, Tx
#29
That's...kind of fucked up. They could have at least put it in the TOS (though I'm sure they figured no one was going to read it anyway, so they didn't bother)
It not being in the TOS is the biggest surprise. I mean, I didn't know about this watermarking but I'm not entirely shocked there's some kind of user data in it :|

No more anonymous sex for you!
Man, there's going to be a lot of hilarious WoW screenshots that people are going to go decode now.
 

XEROWUN

Neo Member
May 6, 2012
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#34
They're making your UserID publicly available without your consent.
this was argued a while back when the character profiles told people in real time what the person was doing in game. the conclusion, like it or not is, wow owns everything even your UserID which means they can do what ever they want with it, though stupid how it is.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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#37
It's like buying a camera and secretly there's a hidden message with my name, address, and all sorts of information I didnt want on my photo. And they were secretly doing it. Its a total breech of privacy in my opinion.
Except it's not. Your analogy only works if it's just your name, that's the only personal information in SS.
 

hym

Banned
Aug 10, 2011
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#43
I doubt any 3rd party has a use for this but what I am worried about is that people creating exploit guides or pretty much anything Blizzard doesn't like are unknowingly also telling them who they are simply by sharing a screenshot.