The squad feature is an absolutely awesome thing that I love about the battlefield series. I haven't played the first battlefield but Battlefield 2 when in conjunction with the Project Reality Mod, is a beautiful thing.
From STEAM EULA
"Valve also stores information on a user's hard drive that is used in conjunction with online play of Valve products. This includes a unique authorization key or CD-Key that is either entered by the user or downloaded automatically during product registration. This authorization key is used to identify a user as valid and allow access to Valve's products. Information regarding Steam billing, your Steam account, your Internet connection and the Valve software installed on your computer are uploaded to the server in connection with your use of Steam and Valve software"
The verbage in Steams EULA seems to state that it records information solely related to the content that you have already 'purchased (read: licensed)' from them and the related services that go with it. This largely is no different than any other game that you purchase (digital or otherwise) that has a 'registration' feature either to complete the install or for obtaining patches from a central source. Where the original contention with Origin's software was that it made no distinction between Origin Games / content and the rest of the files on your hard drive.
Steam further allows, as an option that can be turned on or off by the user, the ability to let the user determine whether or not hardware and software specs are being collected.
It is good that Origin is clarifying things with their service as it needed to be clarified.
Please understand that my feelings towards Steam, Origin or another required third party / 1st party service are fairly simple. I do not like to be required to run a separate program in order to play my games OR to complete an installation. For patching a game I am absolutely fine getting my patches from a central source. Pretty simple. Sins of a Solar Empire followed this model (no internet connection / 3rd party software required to verify installation, central source for patches).
I just don't get why other companies don't follow a similar trend. Sins has been wildly successfull with this business model with more than a few gamers stating that they 'tried' the stock version of the game from a friend only to end up buying it to gain access to the patch content.