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Battle.net Authenticator Class Action Suit

Courthouse News Service has details on a class action suit filed against Blizzard for consumer fraud, unjust enrichment, negligence, breach of contract and bailment over being asked to pay for an authenticator to secure Battle.net accounts (thanks na p), noting that Blizzard has made $26 million selling these things at $6.40 a pop (apparently their presumption is they are free to manufacture). Here's word:

Bell claims that Activision and Blizzard require gamers to use online accounts at the Battle.net website, which collects and stores customers' private information.

Blizzard puts the onus on gamers to buy additional products or tighten security on their devices, rather than making customer accounts more secure, Bell claims.

"Defendants negligently, deliberately, and/or recklessly fail to ensure that adequate, reasonable procedures safeguard the private information stored on this website. As a result of these acts, the private information of plaintiffs and class members has been compromised and/or stolen since at least 2007," according to the 33-page complaint.

"Most recently, on or about May 19, 2012, reports proliferated that class members' Battle.net accounts had suffered a security breach ('hack') at the hands of unknown parties ('hackers'), and on or about August 4, 2012, hackers massively breached Battle.net's security and acquired the private information of all of defendants' customers in the United States, as well as the remainder of North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia."

Though account details for millions of gamers were compromised or stolen, Bell says, neither Activision nor Blizzard took "the legally required steps to alert" gamers.

Bell seeks class damages and an injunction to bar the defendants from "tacking on" undisclosed costs after customers have bought games, and from requiring them to sign up for Battle.net accounts.

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20. Re: Battle.net Authenticator Class Action Sui Nov 9, 2012, 01:36 Draugr
 
Satoru wrote on Nov 9, 2012, 01:25:
Prez wrote on Nov 9, 2012, 01:05:
Satoru wrote on Nov 9, 2012, 00:58:
Prez wrote on Nov 9, 2012, 00:26:
Yeah, if there is a piece of hardware (or complimenting software) that is essentially mandatory, I expect them to provide it.

This. It is insulting beyond belief that Blizzard would have the gall to charge extra or require use of third party solutions for security.

You don't HAVE to use the authenticator. Only if you want to use the RMAH. And you can use it FOR FREE if you have a smartphone. Thus the entire concept of 'enriching' themselves is entirely logically inconsistent.

I agree that the Class Action suit is a bit goofy, but their game is coded very specifically to strongly encourage (if only a hair short of mandating) use of the auction house, then obviously the added security of an authenticator is a must. It ought to have been provided by them instead of making people pony up more cash for one or use a third party one. The former is just a cynical milking of your fanbase and the latter is just carelessly dismissive of their own obligation to make sure people using their game's features are as protected as they can be. In my opinion of course.

I use the Gold AH fine to level up my char to get stuff. If you just play the game, and want to use the Gold AH you don't need the authenticator at all. If you have a reasonable password policy you're fine. All claims of 'mass hijacks' were just people with bad/reused passwords. And again you can get the authenticator for free via any smartphone, or even on yoru desktop by using the Android SDK to emulate one. If cost is really a huge issue there are ways around it. The auth is just added security, but isn't actually requirerd unless you use the RMAH. Otherwise it's just 'nice to have'. The problem is that people who use these games have incredibly bad password, or are easily tricked into giving them away for FREE GOLD or whatever nonsense they want in the game. User stupidity is the reason authentictors exist for about 95% of the population.

You only NEED the auth for the RMAH. and again you don't 'need' to use that. You can use the Gold AH to get what you need.

So there is a part of the game that you don't get access to unless an authenticator is involved? Sounds like getting screwed to me, especially when you consider this only became policy AFTER the games release. Parts of the game were taken away from you unless you met their NEW criteria.
I don't know or particularly care if its worthy of a class action suit, but them providing a solution is how I feel about the situation.
 
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