A Blizzard team member has announced on the World of Warcraft (WoW) forums they will be mining data from the game's players in the "very near future", for a one-week period; it seems this is not the first time, either. If you've not yet merged your WoW account with your Battle.net account, you'll see a message stating, "Submitting non-personal system information," while those that haven't won't see a message at all.
"Non-personal system specifications" are what's being mined, something like with Valve's digital distribution service Steam. Like that outfit, there will be no "opt-in."
Given it's just a week, we'd have no problem with it, provided it was opt-in; the information could be very useful to improve gameplay, network performance, etc. But a notice without any choice given to gamers makes us feel uneasy.
GU Comics put it well:
Given the option, I'd rather upload a dxdiag file via my Battle.Net account. (don't get me started on that) Same thing right? And it was my choice to do so. I'm opting in to the survey. From a community relations standpoint, it's much more "paying-user friendly".
So here's a deal Blizzard. I'll openly allow you to grab my system specs if you'll allow me to come poke around inside one of the game servers. I'll only look at the system specs... honest.