Once Human terms of service privacy policy concerns, explained

In the age of digital gaming, players often overlook the fine print of terms of service (ToS) agreements. However, the ToS for Once Human has recently caught the attention of vigilant gamers, raising questions about data privacy.

While data collection is standard practice in the gaming industry, Once Human appears to push boundaries, prompting concerns among its user base. If you’re curious about what’s going on and whether you should press the Play button, here’s all the explanation we have for Once Human’s ToS privacy policy concerns.

Explaining Terms of Service concerns in Once Human

An image of a wooded area and large rock formations from Once Human
At least they aren’t asking the rights to your soul. Image via Starry Studio

To understand the ToS concerns in Once Human, you should first check the personal information the game collects. Upon agreeing to the game’s ToS, you grant access to NetEase for the following details:

  • Name and Surname
  • Title and Prefix
  • Email address and phone number
  • Messaging accounts
  • Post address
  • Date of birth and age
  • Gender
  • Country and Region
  • Government-issued ID or passport
  • Debit or credit card details
  • Account and billing details

Almost everything on this list is common practice, aside from the government-issued ID or passport. Games, in general, don’t get that personal aside from a few exceptions, and the idea of giving Starry Studio and NetEase Games access to their official IDs rubbed players the wrong way. The concerns grew further because NetEase Games’ headquarters is located in China.

As soon as players realized that they would be granting permission to a Chinesed-based publisher to access their government IDs and passports, concerns grew, even fueling conspiracy theories. However, Once Human devs responded to growing player concerns over data use and spyware threats, assuring fans the game would only rely on that information if it was required by law.

A character in Once Human flying.
There’s a good explanation to all of this. Screenshot by Dot Esports

In NetEase’s defense, some countries, including China, have implemented strict regulations on gaming time for minors. These laws often require game producers to work closely with governments to enforce such restrictions, which may necessitate more detailed user information.

Based on NetEase’s statement, players residing in countries without legal gaming restrictions should have little cause for concern. However, if you’re particularly wary about sharing personal details with the publisher, you should reconsider playing Once Human.

While ID verification is becoming increasingly common across various digital platforms, weighing the benefits of playing against your personal privacy concerns is essential. Many players uneasy about these data collection practices have protested by leaving negative reviews for the game, expressing dissatisfaction with the ToS.

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