Steam's New Privacy Settings Update Causes Steam Spy To Shut Down

Steam's New Privacy Settings Update Causes Steam Spy To Shut Down

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. Steam justified them by saying: "With more detailed descriptions of what profile information is included in each category, you will be able to manage how you are viewed by your friends, or the wider Steam Community".

SteamSpy has been one of the most widely-referenced analytic tools for Steam since it was created back in 2015 by Sergey Galyonkin.

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.

"Today's update expands on your Profile Privacy Settings Page, giving you more control over the privacy of your Steam account". The new settings enable users to decide whether or not they want others to see if they are in-game or what game they are playing. In Valve's own words, this is so that "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". Sergey Galyonkin, who founded Steam Spy in 2015 and is now Director of Publishing Strategy at Epic Games, has said the changes leave him no choice but to stop collecting data.

A post issued late Tuesday also said that Valve's planning on implementing a new presence mode that would allow users to be invisible while still staying online. 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. It's because Steam made everyone's gaming library hidden by default, which Valve failed to mention in its announcement. But it looks as though Steam Spy has become an unlucky recipient of collateral damage as the world has belatedly realised how the web giants' apparently "free" services are in reality a means of mining users' personal data.

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