Those without mobile phones are not allowed to attend Blizzcon this year

You must install an app on your phone in order to attend BlizzCon. Guess your SoL if you don’t have one.

Check out their privacy policy and permissions list.

Check out the user reviews. Most of them are bad.

It bares repeating. You will be EXCLUDED from attending Blizzcon if you don’t own a mobile phone.

I completely understand why some people may be concerned about this, but most of it is just overblown hype to get youtube views. Yes you will need a cell phone to attend blizzcon. Lets be serious here for a moment, just about everyone and their 2 year old kids now have cell phones. If you are dropping $230 a person on an entrance fee for a con, it is very unlikely you do not have a phone.

In regard to the actual app and spyware. Do a google search for Spyware and AXS and tell me what you you see. I will save you a few minutes, you will see pages of results about blizzcon outrage and nothing else. Someone decided to call it spyware when this data was released and everyone else just ran with it.

I am all for people voicing frustrations when they are unhappy with something, however things have simply gotten out of hand. Blizzard is just one example of many. Anything the gaming industry does is wrong and causes outrage to the masses. It really doesn’t matter what they do, there will be protesting and mass outrage across the internet. The only suggestion I can make is to step back and really look at what is happening.

For example, the youtuber linked here. He has made an entire career out of outrage. He started as just another streamer until his channel virtually died when he quit playing wow. He realized as so many others that the best way to get views is to be as negative as possible. So he started new videos attacking anything and everything. His popularity went through the roof and he hasn’t looked back since. It is in his businesses financial best interest to feed as much negativity into the gaming sphere as absolutely possible.


So you’re saying:

  • It’s ok for this app to take personal data from your phone and upload it to whoever will pay them? *1 *2
  • That it’s ok to exclude the apparent minority of blizzard fans just because they don’t have a phone?
  • That just because this YouTuber has made a career out of reporting the shady crap that happens in the game industry these days, that means what he says is without merit or makes any of it untrue?
  • That it’s ok to use what users on their app store page reviewed as buggy software?

AXS has been screwing over users way before BlizzCon. This is merely the latest issue.

*1 We reserve the right to share your Personal Information with our current or future affiliated entities, subsidiaries, and parent companies. We may also share your Personal Information and other information with trusted third parties, such as our Partners, sponsors, or their affiliates and subsidiaries and other related entities for marketing, advertising, or other commercial purposes, and we may occasionally allow third parties to access certain Sites for marketing purposes. In addition, if you purchase a ticket on our Sites or through links we provide, your Personal Information may be shared with event promoters or otherwise in accordance with this Policy.

*2 The IOS app doesn’t have the same privacy issues due to the protections in place. The Android app, on the other hand, gets pretty much everything. TimeStamp 12:47

From this piece the app will

The app is designed to track your location throughout BlizzCon 2019. It can turn on your GPS, access phone camera, contacts, use Bluetooth, change system settings, and much more.

  • Contacts
  • Read your contacts
  • Location
  • Approximate location (network-based) precise location (GPS and network-based)
  • Camera
  • Take pictures and videos
  • Wi-Fi connection information
  • View Wi-Fi connections
  • Receive data from the Internet
  • View network connections
  • Pair with Bluetooth devices
  • Full network access
  • Prevent device from sleeping
  • Read battery statistics
  • Access Bluetooth settings
  • Run at startup
  • Control vibration
  • Modify systems settings
  • What ads you clicked while the app is installed
  • email address
  • Billing address
  • Credit Card number
  • Device make and model
  • Your personal advertising identifier
  • IP address

Note that Blizzard is usually on the bad list for spying, some of which was due to the anti-cheat programing that would scan your system for programs that could be 3rd party, and log that data to Blizzard. I love their games, but they do have ethical problems with privacy that need to be improved.

For android: Settings -> Applications -> Application Manager, show all of them, hold down on whatever this blizzard app is, go to permissions, disable everything.


Edit: People don’t seem to know that the permissions you ‘have’ to give an app when it starts can be modified at any time, and the internal android permissions set will always overrule whatever the application thinks it wants/needs.

In addition to this information, any permission that provides access to personal information on your device (This does not include data you elect to enter into the app) requires you to actively approve the permission. The app can not gain that access without you approving it manually.

Just wanted to drop here that if an application has the ability to modify system settings, then it CAN still use things even if you disable or do not grant permission . I know this for a fact based on a couple applications I have on my phone due to work requirements, and the apps routinely override not only the settings I made for the apps but the settings on the phone itself…everything from ringing with noise even when I have my phone master volume turned off and the application specifically set to not be allowed to ring, to accessing the internet even when I have my phone set to not connect.

We don’t have the control over our mobile devices that we think we do/should.

If you have apps on your own phone that you’ve allowed to have system access because of your work, then it’s time to get them to provide you with an actual work phone, or leave. As a reference, that sort of thing would actually be illegal where I live.

If that’s what Blizzard’s app does, then all the hysteria around it might be valid. (As far as I’ve been able to tell, it doesn’t).

I think this all comes down to the usual things. If this, to you, is giving away too much information, don’t do it. If that means you don’t go to Blizzcon, that’s the tradeoff. If it offends enough people, Blizzcon may actually not sell out in 2 seconds flat. :stuck_out_tongue:

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As per Bedlam’s comment, the system settings access is a huge problem. As per my article, Blizzard is doing that. I think if we, the consumers of Blizzard products, make a big enormous stink over how much data mining they are doing on us, they might change policy. I do not think a boycott Blizzcon movement will do much for this, but incessant yammering about this on Reddit and official forums might change things, as that kind of sustained negative press has a downside that offsets any privacy invasion gain.

This is directly from the android developers documentation.

API level 23 or higher means android version 6 or later.

What this means is that just having the permission to change system settings does not mean the app can secretly change your system settings. If the app needs to change a system setting, it needs to ask the users permission to do so. This is done through a window that pops up on the phone telling the user what setting the app needs to change and the user has to approve it.

One angry youtuber is recommending getting a burner pay as you go phone that you can discard after blizcon…lol

Getting a bit tired of “Youtubers” who don’t know shit about shit screaming their heads off :stuck_out_tongue:

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Um…isn’t that pretty much the entire internet?

WAIT!! Doing my own rimshot: :drum:

Some parts of the internet are more internetty than others :smiley:

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