Cleverly, players who run the game at max settings do not seem to get watermarked screenshots, perhaps because they are the technologically most savvy—or have so much money they don’t have any incentive to do anything skeezy.
If there is any chance these watermarks can be mapped to their owner, this is a huge privacy violation on Blizzard’s part that is ample reason to stop using Blizzard products from this point on. If not, it could be a trade-off worth discussing the merit of.
The person who discovered this writes:
IMPORTANT NOTE: IF YOU CAN’T BOTHER READING ANYTHING ELSE, READ THIS:
The secret watermark which is being intentionally embedded inside WoW generated screenshots below top quality, DOES NOT CONTAIN the account password, the IP address of the user or any personal information like name/surname etc. It does contain the account ID, a timestamp and the IP address of the current realm. It can be used by malicious hackers to link alt. characters to accounts and target specific spam or scam attacks, and it can be used by Blizzard to track down private WoW servers.
Does not contain:
- Account password
- User’s IP address
- Personal information
- Account ID
- IP address of the current realm
(Via Hacker News.)