Tuesday, October 4

Can the GDPR policy delete your games? Happened to Ubisoft | Digital Trends Spanish


Imagine that, after spending years playing video games and spending money on them, you decide to stop for a long time (either to dedicate yourself to other activities or for health), and after a year, you decide to play again.

In doing so, you would naturally expect your gaming accounts to be intact, right? But that is not something 100 percent certain: there is a possibility that some of them, such as Ubisoft, will be disabled due to inactivity. That’s what happened to a Norwegian gamer named Tor (who asked to be identified by his first name only).

“In 2020, I sold my PC because I was gaming too much and it was a bit out of the question of the healthy way of doing it. I decided to work and go to school, ”Tor told PCWorld. For that reason, the young man sold his computer with a Core i7 processor and a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU, leaving his cell phone as the only technological device in his life.

A year later, Tor wanted to play video games again, so he bought a new computer. However, he was surprised that he was unable to log into his Ubisoft account and that it had been closed, taking with him a lot of money from the games he had purchased.

In that way, all Ubisoft titles, from the games to Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege until the saga Assassins’ creed and others, disappeared from the Tor account. But the strange thing is that no other gaming service deactivated the young man’s account, it was only Ubisoft’s.

For its part, the company strongly insists that what happened to Tor is not normal and that it has never deleted an account that has not been logged in in at least four years. Furthermore, it states that any account that has a purchased game linked to it also does not qualify to be closed.

However, Tor insists that his account and his games are no longer available and there is no possibility of having them again: “Ubisoft told me they can’t get them back. They are eliminated, permanently blocked ”.

To fix the problem, Tor searched his email for answers, and what it found was a single inactivity warning and eventual account deletion in its spam folder.

With that email in hand, he contacted Ubisoft, but despite the fact that in the first instance he managed to reset the password for his account (which would indicate that he is still in Ubisoft’s system), he realized that there was no longer any way to access games that you had paid hundreds of dollars for. “If the account is closed, there is no way to restore it,” Ubisoft support told him.

Unfortunately for Tor, account deactivation is included in the Ubisoft International Terms of Service Agreement. In section eight, which says “Can your account be canceled?” (Can your Account be terminated?), when expanding the text it affirms the following:

“We may suspend or close your account and its ability to use one or more services or part of the services, at any time, automatically and in our sole discretion when … after notification, your account has been inactive for more than six months.”

Subsequently, the terms say that as a consequence of the cancellation or suspension of the account, no credit will be returned.

The terms of service of other popular game companies don’t say the same thing as Ubisoft’s. Blizzard, Good Old Games, Steam, and Epic Games, for example, don’t have a policy for deactivating inactive accounts.

In Ubisoft’s case, it is an unusually severe policy, but it is actually related to Ubisoft’s interpretation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of Europe. In relation to this, its terms say the following:

“Rest assured, Ubisoft does not automatically close inactive accounts. However, based on our Terms of Use, on rare occasions we may take steps to comply with some local data protection laws. This is only if we have strong reasons to believe that the account in question will not be used. We can also close long-term inactive accounts to maintain our database. “

Ubisoft confirmed this to PCWorld stating: “We have implemented the account deletion process in accordance with the requirements of the GDPR (Article 5.1.e on the obligation to limit the data retention period). Our policies are aligned with legal requirements and industry standards. This measure also acts as a protection for our players against fraud, ”said a company spokesperson.

According to Ubisoft, four criteria are considered before an account is deleted:

  • The gambling activity of the account since its creation.
  • Ownership of PC games from account creation: Accounts linked to purchased games are not eligible for deletion.
  • The duration of account inactivity, that is, the last login to our ecosystem (including Ubisoft games on Steam and other platforms). While our Terms of Use are intended to reflect all possibilities, in practice we have never deleted accounts that have been inactive for less than 4 years.
  • The existence of an active Ubisoft subscription related to the account.

The company also says that before an account is deleted, the player should receive three emails during a 30-day period offering to reactivate the account. Additionally, you will receive an error message when you log in warning of the pending deletion.

Now, in the case of Tor, there are some factors that do not apply to him and Ubisoft has recognized this: such as that it took less than two years to play again and that he bought several games directly from Ubisoft Connect, not from Epic Games or from Steam, for example. So luckily for the young gamer, the company will take care of the matter.

“This case does not meet our criteria for the removal of inactive accounts, so our customer service team will contact the player to obtain their username so that they can initiate an investigation and take appropriate action. “, Closed the spokesman.

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