Red Shell: Tracking your PC activity for developers – Research Snipers

Red Shell: Tracking your PC activity for developers

Red Shell

It comes as no surprise to find out that a large number of PC games are tracking your internet activity when you are not playing. Reddit sleuths have discovered that games including Civilization VI, Elder Scrolls Online, Kerbal Space Program Hunt: Showdown and Warhammer: Vermentide II included a tracker called Red Shell.

It is a program software that when installed, tells you whether you were exposed to the marketing campaign for the game you are playing, and discerns whether this marketing campaign led you to purchase the fame. Red Shell boasts a 98 percent accuracy rating, making it super effective.

In a FAQ section of Red Shell’s website (written to developers), it says the following: “All data we collect is YOURs. We ONLY use it for attribution. We do not aggregate, distribute or sell ANY data.” Under another query it says: “We do not collect any ‘personal information’ about your players. We only collect and store information about their browsers/computers for purposes of attribution.”

When one goes to the RedShell pricing page, users are offered the option to opt into letting their data be used for analytics, live support and marketing. Users can decline all of these but not the “necessary cookies” which enable the core functioning of the software. It says the website cannot function properly without these cookies, and can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences.

In a statement to Kotaku, Red Shell said that it collects the “minimum amount of data necessary to do attribution.”

“Our customers rely on us to tell them which activities they’re engaged in [different ad campaigns] are working and which ones aren’t,” Adam Lieb said. “Any information that doesn’t help us make those matches we don’t collect.”

Here’s the thing: practically every website you visit places a tracker on your device to “fingerprint” you. It’s why if you’re searching for a new couch on Amazon, every website you visit for the week after will deliver you ads for couches on Amazon.

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Image via technobuffalo