Valve Tightening Privacy With New Steam Privacy Changes

Steam Spy shutting down

Valve's update to its settings, detailed in a blog post, make sense in the current prevailing climate, in which revelations about Facebook's sale of user data have generated a widespread outcry about privacy on the web. Steam users now have the option of selecting who can view their profile's "game details", including the list of games purchased or wishlisted, along with achievements and playtime.

Valve has gone through with a massive change for user privacy settings on Steam. "Additionally, regardless of which setting you choose for your profile's game details, you now have the option to keep your total game playtime private". "You no longer need to nervously laugh it off as a bug when your friends notice the 4,000+ hours you've put into Ricochet".

Speaking of future plans, Steam also mentioned that they're working on a new "invisible mode" so that they can appear offline but still view their friends list, as well as send and receive messages.

Many Steam users relied on SteamSpy for information regarding potential purchases. The option will be made available to users in beta soon. Unfortunately, this has caused some unrest among tracking sites such as Steam Spy, which relies on the accessibility of user data to conduct accurate readings. The new privacy settings will consequently render the website useless.

More news: Technical Watch - Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) -10.75% off from One Year High

Valve has revised its privacy policies, updating its Steam client to provide users with the ability to hide what information is accessible to others such as owned games and the playtime behind them.

KitGuru Says: It's unfortunate to see Steam Spy and other third-party tracking sites suffer because of the latest changes, but I will always side with the motivation to protect and preserve user control over their own data. With the changes Valve has introduced, however, it's not going to be around anymore - it won't be able to grab said information by default anymore.

The public game library data was the crux of Steam Spy's operation, and such creator Sergey Galyonkin made the announcement via Twitter that, as such, it wouldn't be able to work anymore without that crucial data.

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