Update: EA has released a statement in response to Origin users reporting that the platform was randomly letting other users see their real names without their permission. It’s investigating the issue and opting out all Origin users while the investigation is ongoing.
EA’s full statement is below:
Player privacy is of the utmost importance to us. We’ve recently began hearing from some of our players that their Origin accounts defaulted to share real names associated with their account. That should be an opt-in setting. We’re currently investigating this, and in the meantime, we’re taking the action to opt all our existing players out of sharing their real name. It’s important to us that real names are shared only by players who truly want to. We appreciate the community’s engagement on this, and we apologize to our players for any disruption or extra steps this may cause.
Original Story: EA’s Origin service might be letting others see your real name, even if you think you unchecked that particular box.
Online Abuse Prevention Initiative founder and Cloud engineer Randi Lee Harper recently published an important PSA for Origin users in the form of a long Twitter thread. Basically, it appears that Origin is randomly enabling the ability for other users who search for your ID tag to see your real name. Harper said that there “may be more of a likelihood of the box being checked if your account was created between 2013 and 2015.”
Part of the reason why this is happening in the first place is that EA asks for your name when signing up for a general EA account, but that part is optional. Still, there’s no opt-in for when you’re signing up that will automatically enable or disable the ability for others to see your real name when they’re searching for you.
As Harper points out, this issue seems especially important at the moment, considering Apex Legends has had over 25 million players in the past couple of weeks. A decent amount of those people probably already had EA or Origin accounts, but some of them might not have. However, this issue doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the game specifically, as users who signed up several years ago have reported that the option to view their real names was enabled without them realizing it.
If you want to make sure your name is secure, you can log into your EA account and double-check your privacy settings.
We’re reaching out to EA about this development and will update the story if and when we hear anything.