Here is a interesting section from Terms of Service of Origin.
2. Consent to Collection and Use of Data.
By installing Origin, in other words, you're agreeing to the TOS, and by agreeing to the TOS you're giving EA the green light to poke and prod around your computer, suck up information about your hardware, your software - and not just games, mind you, but everything - and what you do with it when you think nobody's looking.
Origin isn't the only service that collects user data for various purposes, including marketing, but its TOS allow it to scan for an uncomfortably broad range of information. Valve, for instance, collects user information "to improve Valve's products and online sites, for internal marketing studies, or simply to collect demographic information about Valve's users," but it's limited to a far narrower range of data. And even though EA's data collection practices in all likelihood won't be any different than Valve's, the worrying point is that they could be.
Note: According to my understanding EA Origin is required in any copy (even hard copies).