'We Own You'

Eli Hodapp convinced a top level producer at a freemium game company to write anonymously about their user tracking habits:

Every day we collect a ton of data. I don’t even know the size of what we collect anymore, we have entire divisions to instrument and analyze the data. These days I just send over a basic question, and the team pulls the data, and runs the query. No longer do we use off the shelf systems like Flurry. Now it is all in house. There was a game a while back that generated something like 20 gigs of player data a day. Right now another Producer is reading that number an laughing, as their game does 100 or 200 or 300 gigs a day. We keep everything we can. And we are not alone. Normally I implement 20 to 30 different 3rd party SDKs into a game. Some of these help us track events or crashes, some are ad networks, others more demographic data. All of these networks are gathering as much, if not more data on you. Worse yet, they are all networked. Let’s say your in some app that wants to know if you are Male or Female, and what age range you fall under. Well that app shares that data with it’s ad network. Guess who else uses that same ad network, we do! Now we have that data, without even asking for it.

In case you needed yet another reason not to buy into freemium game bullshit.