Good Old Games Drops Geo-IP Tracking

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Been trying to order the Witcher 2 or other games from GOG.com while traveling and found it to be a nightmare? Well the guys there have heard your cries for help and have decided to drop Geo-IP usage to determine location. Here’s a quick note from them on what’s going on.The witcher 2 GOG preorder

“GOG.com has always been about trusting the user,” said Guillaume Rambourg, Managing Director of GOG.com. “We’ve come to the conclusion that there are a number of issues with using a customer’s IP address to determine what offer they are being presented with from GOG.com. A good number of users can find themselves negatively impacted by a policy of using geo IP to set their region.

“For example, customers may be traveling when they want to purchase or download a game from GOG.com. In this case, automatic IP address capture might change the price or the content of the game they’re ordering (such as the default language of the installer). Further, geo IP data collection is not always right. IP addresses are not a perfect or unique identifier of location, and can report the incorrect region of users, particularly ones who are not using standard Internet connections.  Finally, we’re always very sensitive of our users’ privacy. Effective privacy protections for our users means that any data that we don’t need to collect, we shouldn’t. We only need to know the country that you’re making this purchase from, so although we originally planned to use geo-IP to determine user’s location, we’ve decided to trust our users and let them inform us as to the correct region for their purchase.”

Users who are finding problems with their country’s location (and the offer they are presented with) in their settings. They can update this by going to ”My Account” and clicking on “Account & Settings.”

The change is now live on GOG.com for all current purchases and pre-orders.

That’s pretty nice of them I have to say. There has been some talk on the GoG blog that they are still getting that info. However, there are numerous things that can determine what language you see a web site in including: default langauge in your browser, default language of your operating system, etc. I still often get Czech pages even though my main browser language is English. It’s because the first language installed on Windows 7 is Czech even though I installed the English language pack and use English. If they say they’re not using it, I see no reason why they would want to lie about it.

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