May 25, 2018

Surprise! Razer Cortex and Other Software Have Been Spying On You For A Long Time

Posted on May 25, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

With the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect today a number of tech companies have been quick to abandon older versions of the software, discontinue services entirely or just simply block EU users from accessing their websites. Perhaps the company in the hottest water right now is Razer, maker of LCD infused Keyboard / Mice and really expensive light-up gaming notebooks. 

See, Razer’s terms of service when it comes to data collection currently allows them to collect, and I quote: 

Data Processing by Cortex. Cortex boosts and optimises your system and game performance by collecting and streamlining data relating to your system settings and system processes. When you launch Cortex, it will collect and use such data automatically. By installing and using Cortex, you consent to certain data collection and usage by Cortex for its recommendation engine to function. Cortex recommends game deals and makes price comparisons based on a variety of websites. To do so, Cortex will need to collect and process certain data from your computer, specifically your email address, IP address, game settings, installed games, game performance metrics, device type, user interaction patterns, operating system and browser type. To optimise the advertisements to be communicated to you and the performance of our services, such data will be used with Google’s Doubleclick Ad Exchange and Google Analytics respectively. For the purpose of highlighting discounts as they arise on other websites and displaying price comparisons, Cortex needs to access data relating to your game-ownership and game-wishlist(s), if any, on retail websites of your choice.” 

Twitter User Stephen Swires pointed out in a recent thread that the older version of the Razer Cortex Eula allowed them to collect a lot more including analyzing your keystroke patterns, logging which web pages you visited and “other information about your activities using our hardware”. Sounds very vague…. 

In order to be compliant with the GDPR Razer has dumped support for older versions of Synapse as well as the Mobile version of Razer Cortex. It is not known as of press time how the GDPR update that was rolled out on the recently released Razer Phone affects European users. 

If you’re reading this and currently use a Razer product, does knowing that for a time they were collecting your keystroke “patterns” and web pages that you visited give you pause? Would you buy a Razer product now? Let us know in the comments section! 


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