Steam Spy ceases operations after Valve changes privacy settings

Steam Spy ceases operations after Valve changes privacy settings

While there are additional privacy options for players and more detailed pieces of information that should help with figuring out what parts of your profile you want to share publicly, this is an unfortunate turn of events that will put some very useful websites out of business.

According to Steam Spy, this isn't a particularly great move for the company as the tracking site is effectively useless without the information being available by default.

Valve announced on Tuesday, April 10, that it had updated the privacy settings of Steam users by giving them control over how their information is displayed on the digital distribution platform. This option gives Steam users the ability to hide what games they own, what they have wishlisted, their achievements, as well as playtimes. "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".

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Video game stories from other sites on the web. As such, the changes will end up making several important tools, such as Steam Spy, essentially inoperable. 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.

Valve says that it's got more planned for the future, such as a new invisible setting that allows you to appear offline to friends but still view your friends list and send or receive messages. (For our purposes, we've lumped this decision in with "privacy settings", because Valve is changing a default setting that affects user privacy.) The goals are the same-protecting Steam users' privacy-but changing the default settings for game libraries has the side effect of blocking Steam Spy. The invisible mode will hit Steam's beta client soon. 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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