August 3, 2018
A FIFA player utilized GDPR to study all of the data that video game producer EA held on him and found that he had spent $10,000 playing the game during a two-year period.
The player, a 32-year-old from the UK informed Eurogamer.net that he desired to remain unknown and requested to be referred to just as Michael, made the request of EA on the day that the GDPR law became enforceable, May 25, 2018.
The request for information was made via EA’s customer service telephone number. He asked Michael for some private information (name, address, email etc.) and a photo of his government-issued identification. This signaled that beginning of the 30-day period within which the request had to be handled in line with the new GDPR data protection law.
EA handled the request on time and sent a data dump to Michael through two PDF files, each more than 100 pages long, with the time limit. Among other things is included details of every player Michael purchased and sold over the past two years in FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team). This is the most admired playing style in FIFA. It lets players you form a FIFA team from scratch and contest with it in a range of single player and online modes.
Michael said “I would play Ultimate Team roughly every day. I used it as my idle time and my pastime. Depending on the time I have free, I can devote anything from 30 minutes to six hours playing. I play Weekend League every week and this is clearly time consuming.”
He went to say how stunned he was that he’d spent more than $10,000 in just two years. He said “Exceptional events such as Black Friday, TOTY, FUT Birthday, TOTS, Futties, etc., I would have thrown in thousands upon thousands of FIFA Points without even a doubt. I and my fiancee are lucky to have a healthy disposable income, so this type of amount would not have caused a stress on us fiscally. I do, however, have the greatest sympathy for those in a position of low income who might also be or become addicted to purchasing loot boxes.”
Michael’s high expenditure was not the only information that his GDPR request disclosed. He was also able to see statistics including every time he logged in and out of the games, who was on his friends’ list, how many goals he made among other things.