Should Notch Respect Your Minecraft Privacy?


Mojang wants your Minecraft usage data, but Notch is asking if that’s ok with you first.

Anybody running an application, service or even game will tell you that data is king. Knowing what your users are doing with your product or how they are viewing your content will allow the creators to adapt to the needs of the playerbase easier and quicker. But gamers can be a touchy bunch regarding their information. The slightest whisper of an application reporting data to its “corporate overlords” is enough to set the boards aflame. So Mojang has a bit of a dilemma; Notch would like to know what players are doing with his game, but he doesn’t want to risk the backlash. What did he do? He set up a poll asking his loyal followers if they would object to Minecraft collecting data and sending it to his servers in Sweden for collating.

“We have no idea how you’re playing the Minecraft,” Notch wrote on his blog today. “Right now, the only way we can figure out roughly what people are doing with the game is to track logins. Once you’re logged in, we have no idea what happens.”

In order to figure out more about how people play the game, Notch proposes adding some code to send a packet of information every ten minutes. “This would work by having the game connect to and send some anonymous and non-private data about the game, such as current game mode (single player, multiplayer), operating system (windows? mac?), how long you’ve been playing for (so we know how long a game session is), and whether or not you’re playing the downloaded game, or the applet on the webpage.”

Notch promised he would share the data he gleaned from this process with the community so there was some kind of transparency. And there would absolutely be no personal data shared, in case you were worried Notch was looking at grabbing those pics of your Aunt Sue. “Naturally, the data sent will be fully anonymous, so it wouldn’t contain any session information or your user name, and it wouldn’t send any sensitive information that you might not want to share.”

Oddly enough, the poll results so far show an overwhelming support for this plan. As of this typing, 86.26 percent of the responders (or 27,872 votes) for said “Yes, that sounds cool!” while only 13.74 percent or 4,438 votes said “No, that sounds evil!”

I guess no matter what Notch says, he still gets indie cred.

Source: Word of Notch

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