What is a EULA?
End-user license agreements (EULAs) are a different matter than privacy policies. This is the contract established between the licensor and the purchaser and establishes the purchaser’s right to use the software. Whenever you download a new game, you are functionally signing a contract through your purchase and use of the game.
A EULA establishes how the game publisher allows gamers make use of the game license. An end user technically does not own the source or object code that forms the basis of a game and the EULA sets the terms for the bundle of rights licensed through the purchase. A EULA may set limitations on things like if the license can be transferred, if the software can be copied, rented or leased, and how the code can be modified or if derivative works can be created from the original work.
If a company is collecting personal information, it should be explaining to its users what it intends to do with the data. If it’s using any kind of analytics, collecting any information from user input, using cookies or persistent trackers, etc., it needs to disclose that to its users. If it is sharing user data with third parties, it needs to disclose that to its users. Before you say “I would never share user data with anyone,” consider two examples: first, the FBI subpoenas your company for the information. Will you be ready to fight the subpoena, or even be held in contempt of court to protect that data? Second, and more happily, what if a larger company offers you billions of dollars for your company, but as part of the diligence process, they want to review your user data? Will you walk away from the sale? Probably in both situations, the answer is “no.”
Privacy policies are a disclosure to the users of a service about the privacy and data handling practices of that service provider. They are there to warn users “if you use this, we will use your information in these ways.”
- Rovio Entertainment’s policy
- IGN/ZIFF DAVIS’ policy
- Blizzard Entertainment’s policy
- Kotaku/Kinja’s policy
- Epic Games’ policy
California specifically has the California Office of Privacy Protection and if you operate a commercial website that collects information on California residents, there are more granular requirements. Also note – Europe is a whole different beast when it comes to privacy policies.