Thanks to a series of user privacy settings brought into motion by Steam, the very fabric of the game streaming platform that SteamSpy utilized to harvest its valuable data has been obliterated. Also, they can choose to stop broadcasting what game they are now playing. Settings have better descriptions, you can keep your total game playtime hours private, it is possible to choose who sees your game details like achievements and playtime, and you can tell if you can be seen "in-game" in a title or not.
If you have ever looked at your Steam profile and wished you could hide the library you have built over the years, you now have that option.
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.
However, this simple change also renders game stats site Stream Spy pretty much moot, as the data it will need to operate will be blocked off.
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Valve isn't stopping there, however, as it plans to overhaul its offline status to allow for an "invisible mode", giving users a chance to appear offline while remaining in control of all Steam functions, including the friends list, messages and more. The option will be made available to users in beta soon. "To reiterate-it's not because of the new privacy settings".
Started by Sergey Galyonkin in 2015, the site helped developers, publishers and journalists analyze sales figures and identify emerging trends and genres within the market by scraping players' game libraries. Oddly enough, Valve's privacy update doesn't make Steam compliant with those new European Union privacy laws, meaning more measures could be coming shortly.
Valve went over the new changes in a blog post on Steam, which include the fact that game libraries are now hidden by default. 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 just made a change to their privacy settings, making games owned by Steam users hidden by default.