A FIFA player used GDPR to research all of the the data that video game producer EA held on him and discovered that he had spent $10,000 playing the game over a two-year period.
The player, a 32-year-old from the UK told Eurogamer.net that he wished to remain anonymous and asked to be referred to only as Michael, made the request of EA on tha day that the GDPR legislation became enforceable, May 25 2018.
The request for information was made through EA’s customer service telephone number. He was asked Michael for some personal information (name, address, email etc) as well as a photograph of his government-issued identification. This signalled that start of the 30-day period within which the request had to be processed in line with the new GDPR data protection legislation.
EA processed request on time and sent a data dump to Michael via two PDF files, each over 100 pages long, with the time limit. Among other things is included details of every player Michael bought and sold over the past two years in FUT (FIFA Ultimate Team). This is the most popular playing mode in FIFA. It allows players you build a FIFA squad from scratch and compete with it in a variety of single player and online modes.
Michael said “I would play Ultimate Team more or less everyday. I used it as my downtime and my hobby. Depending on the time I have free, I can spend anything from 30 minutes to six hours playing. I play Weekend League every week and this is obviously time consuming.”
He went to say how shocked he was that he’d spent over $10,000 in just two years. He said “Special 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 second thought. Myself and my fiancee are fortunate to have a healthy disposable income, so this kind of amount wouldn’t have caused a strain on us financially. I do however, have the utmost sympathy for those in a position of low income who may also be or become addicted to buying loot boxes.”
Michael’s high spending was not the only information that his GDPR request revealed. He was also able to view statistics including every time he logged in and out of the games, who was on his friends list, how many goals he scored among other things.