[Surprise!] I've requested all my personal data from Amazon to find out more about why I got a warning

tl;dr: Under the GDPR (General Data Protection Law) you have the right to get all information that is stored about you. You find out more about what Amazon stores about you regarding penalties and your reports (including the status).


Okay story time.
I got a warning for “abusive language” nearly 2 weeks ago without stating what I got it for.
I wanted to know why I got that warning, and what I wrote that could have triggered it.
I wanted to know it so I could either be able to write an objection (I mean, the message ingame even stated that I should contact the customer service if I have an objection) or at least learn from my mistakes. Both scenarios would require me to know the context of the warning. Also, it should be in AGS’ interest that players learn from their mistakes, right?

So I wrote the customer service. Their answser: They can’t give me any information because of "
data protection reasons". What? But I got the warning. It is about me.
So I said… exactly that. Their answer:
The previous employee provided you with all the information available about your appeal request.

Enough of that bulls… I thought. I requested all my personal data from Amazon to see what I got a warning for. Here are the results:
File: AmazonGames.Moderation.Penalties.csv

Content (made readable, as it is a CSV filetype):

penaltyTypeName: Abusive Language
penaltyCreatedDate: 11/29/2021 15:02 UTC
penaltyContext: -
penaltyExpirationDate: -
penaltyStatus: Closed
penaltyId: [some longer ID]
productName: New World
penaltyDurationType: permanent penalty

What is my conclusion?
AGS doesn’t have any information stored on what the reason of the penalty is. No context given. The keyword “penaltyContext” is empty. This is bad. Imagine that… an employee can set a penalty on a player and there is NO DOCUMENTATION on what the context and reason of that penalty is.


Another interesting thing I found, is the information about all the reports I wrote (Reports from me against other players).
File: AmazonGames.Moderation.Reports.csv

Content (an excerpt, parts in […] replaced by me):

reportCreatedDate,reportId,reportStatus,reportTypeName,reportContext,productName
11/18/2021 21:45 UTC,wPMCNX0B5Q-tHFP0nm-r,Expired,New World
11/18/2021 21:42 UTC,jM0ANX0BRFjRlZk0tFSo,Expired,New World
11/03/2021 19:02 UTC,28ku53wBRFjRlZk0PXRX,Assigned,Selling Coin,"{ReporterIP:[IP],Description:Siehe Chatlog,ChatMessage:[Some coin selling bot spam message],CharacterName:[username]}",New World
10/10/2021 22:52 UTC,771obHwBRFjRlZk0pgAv,Expired,Reported for Cheating,"{ReporterIP:[IP],Description:Possible Bot for mining. Stays at lvl 20 in a lvl 45+ area infront of iron,CharacterName:[username]}",New World

What is my conclusion?

  • There are reports from me that don’t have a category or message stored. Why? I have to choose a category before I report something. And I know I write a message before I submit a report. That’s… a bit concerning.
  • All reports about “Selling Coin” have the status “Assigned”.
  • All reports about “Cheating” have the status “Expired”. Not “Closed” or “Solved” or “Assigned” or any status that would indicate that someone took that report and looked into it. “Expired” strongly smells like “it got ignored until it expired”.

Well there’s that. What are your thoughts?


Edit: Another weird thing… in the data I received there is no log of all my chat messages. Aren’t my chat messages stored anywhere? If they are, they should have been sent to me. If not, this would mean an employee might not have full context about why a player got reported for abusive langauge, and it would explain why a penalty can’t give context and the customer service have no clue.


Edit 2: For clarification because people start accusing me of cheating / botting / gold selling… the reports in the second quotation block are an excerpt of those I wrote about other players. I didn’t receive those reports. I reported other players for possible botting / coin selling. Please read my post thoroughly.

157 Likes

+1 needs to be addressed

22 Likes

This is unacceptable.

Better records should be kept, especially if they are going to take drastic measures such as permanent bans.

27 Likes

Bump this, the devs need to see that we know.

27 Likes

+1. Curious to know now, tsk tsk file keeping

17 Likes

I am curious what others who requested their data will find out, especially those who got banned and don’t know why exactly, or even got wrongfully banned.

10 Likes

v3

21 Likes

AGS. The California Privacy Protection Agency would like to have a word with you.

9 Likes

Michael’s watching Home Alone right there… :joy:

You seen the bags under Macaulay culkin’s eyes? He’s seen some stuff. :joy:

3 Likes

Big bump

This makes a lot of sense… The customer service cannot help with false bans or even ban an aimbotter because the system is bad.

What are your guys doing Amazon? Your system should be an example for other companies, not a joke!

6 Likes

Sorry, I forgot…

Congratulations :partying_face:

5 Likes

I’m telling you, I get banned once a week without fail and I’m sure most of it is not justified or if it is, the game mods are being incredibly heavy handed on miniature issues.

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I expect their outsourced Customer Service Agency have a priority list and need to fullfill a certain amount of cases handled per day by contract (I work for a company with more than 70k employees worldwide and our helpdesk is basically the cheapest company we could get that agreed to our companies quotas).

So once a case goes over a timelimit (lets say 72h), solving the case does not provide the agency with a fulfillment score anymore, as it took too long to start the case. Hence it is no longer profitable and will be treated with lowest priority.

In theory this should incentivise external agencies to get to the cases as fast as possible. In reality it leads to too few agents handeling too many cases, so usually they either pick the ones their client has marked as “priority” which gives higher score to reach fulfillment of contract or they pick the ones that are easiest to solve, as that helps to reach quotas.

Seeing how badly these cases are documented for their service teams (it could also still be possible for AGS not sharing all relevant data with you, as they only need to share certain aspects by GDPR) and how many cases expired, that speaks volume about that is exactly what happens here.
I also guess that AGS was not prepared for a complex service, so the necessary documentation was not in place and they basically created a makeshift system to cover the issue (like they do with every new patch) :wink:

But someone at AGS will most likely tell you that

  • a.) they will look into it (translating to: "shit, that is bad. We need to stall and calm the community down, hope they forget)
  • b.) tell you that is not the case and the system is more complex ( denial)
  • c.) delete the thread :partying_face:
20 Likes

@AGS > this type of shenanigans from you Amazon, is enough for me to drop your game (New World) and I will be re-telling this story.

Unless you address this type of culture in your organisation, I’ll be dropping all Amazon products like a smelly potato.

Booktopia.com.au here I come :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Congratulations :partying_face:

1 Like

You forgot d.) completely ignore this thread.

4 Likes

Not if we bump

4 Likes

You don’t have to mention that since it is obviously the norm. It is probably written in their contracts that they can answer only with “it is already known” and “I pass it on”.

The real worth of reports is shown when they are surprised by reports about bugs which were already massivly reported in the closed beta. But everytime they say (if they answer at all): “Wow that is new. I pass it on.” If it wasn’t so depressing it could have been funny.

3 Likes