Steam's Privacy Changes Spell Doom for SteamSpy Tool

Steam's Privacy Changes Spell Doom for SteamSpy Tool

Beyond that, an independent option to hide total playtime for games regardless of other privacy settings has also been made available. This setting also controls whether you're seen as "in-game" and the title of the game you are playing.

Until an April 11 update, user profiles on PC gaming giant Steam were set to public access by default.

Steam Spy is a tool that's been around since 2015 and aggregates information about the number of game purchases, the types of games people, buy, new genre trends, playtimes and a whole lot more. For example, gamers can now hide their "in-game" status, as well as their playtimes and achievements.

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If you don't like all this privacy, then simply visit your Profile Privacy Settings Page and change the options to either "Friends Only" or "Public".

Valve's latest change to its Steam platform is one created to enhance the privacy of its users, by making the public sharing of stats like games owned, wishlists, game purchases and playtimes private by default. Many report that the sales figures presented for their games have been significantly inaccurate due to the way that data is gathered, but players often interpret them as fact. And finally, comments can't be left on your profile anymore without you change the privacy setting. 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". 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. Unless Valve makes a change to this new Steam behavior, it seems that we'll be saying goodbye to Steam Spy, as it collected data by polling once publicly-accessible user libraries. Sometimes you're feeling social, and sometimes you're not; this setting should help Steam users be social on their own terms.

On Twitter, Galyonkin also suggested that if Valve really wanted to protect their users' privacy they would have hidden the profiles' information first and foremost, but that's still public for now. Valve doesn't give a timeline for the release of invisible mode, but says that it hopes to launch it in beta soon.

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