Teodora Niculae on Data Privacy
Several new laws have put individual rights at the core of data privacy and restrict the collection and use of personal information from consumers, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced in 2018.
As a Legal Counsel at Behaviour, Teodora Niculae, explains Behaviour’s approach to data privacy in connection with players.
With their emphasis on individual rights over corporate interests, a handful of privacy laws such as the GDPR and California’s Consumer Privacy Act now stand as the new gold standard for data privacy around the world.
Though most laws apply only to individuals located in their associated territories, Behaviour has adopted the highest standards for all players of its games, regardless of where they live.
“All our players, no matter where they’re from, should have the best treatment available, from a privacy point of view,” explains Teodora.
Behaviour’s embrace of privacy laws, and its approach to data privacy more generally, reflects a business philosophy that strives to balance people and profit, Teodora says. When it comes to collecting data via a new feature or game, all conversations begin with a discussion by the product teams of what information can be legally collected and what is ethical.
Bringing an ethical perspective to data collection also goes hand-in-hand with Behaviour’s monetization values, including respect and transparency for all users.
“We’re probably one of the few companies that doesn’t collect an invasive set of personal data and respects users from both a product and privacy standpoint. And that is important for our product team,” Teodora says.
When beginning work on any new product, the team’s first consideration in terms of what player data to collect is a personal one.
“What I find interesting is that they always consider each new feature from the perspective ‘do I feel comfortable deploying this to my family member? To my mother?’,” Teodora notes. “I think it’s really interesting that that is their first question. If the product team feels strongly that it’s not ethical towards players – even if it’s legal and profitable – then they won’t develop that feature.”
This concern for players’ privacy extends to those in countries where data privacy is not as advanced or respected to the degree it is in Europe or California, for example. The expansion of the video game market into emerging markets raises important concerns about the protection of personal data and Behaviour works with trusted partners.
Teodora sees a direct link between Behaviour’s respect for player privacy and how the company treats its own employees.
“Everybody takes our players to heart and puts themselves in their shoes all the time,” Teodora adds. “That’s what drives our games, that’s what drives our initiatives, and that’s what drives our culture. That starts at the top, it comes from our CEO – he’s always putting himself in his employees’ and players’ shoes.”
“Players can feel when they’re at the heart of your actions. We want to keep being a company that they trust and continue playing with.”