Leeson Apr 10, 2018 @ 8:11pm
New privacy settings
Today Valve announced a change they've made to the privacy settings within Steam adding two new features. These being hiding game details, and hiding playtime of games. Game details defaults to friends only since the update applying to all existing accounts on Steam (unless profile is private where it defaults to private).

The negatives behind the change to default game details to friends only is that sites that use to rely on this kind of information such as Steam Spy, SteamDB, and other tracking sites will now no longer be able to operate under the kind of stats they had access to before. Valve has also made no clear indication to users that such privacy settings have been added as of now so that users who are unaware of the change won't realise they will have to change it back if they wish.

Note: The hide playtime option is broke as of now as even though by default it shows unticked it acts as if its ticked. Requiring the user to tick, and untick it to fix the issue.

The Steam blog post about it: https://steamcommunity.com/games/593110/announcements/detail/1667896941884942467
I would think it would make most sense to change the game details privacy setting back to public by default for users who had existing profiles on the public visability setting. Set friends only visability profiles to the friends only game details privacy setting, and set private profile visability profiles to the private game details privacy setting.
Last edited by Leeson; Apr 10, 2018 @ 8:30pm
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Showing 1-15 of 49 comments
Coffee Apr 10, 2018 @ 8:17pm 
I heartily agree that the default should be to share game information. Steam Spy and SteamDB have kept the honest and open feeling of Steam and without it both consumers and developers can be kept from the true statistics by larger corporations. This will hurt the Steam platform and its open nature. Please reverse the *default* setting.
Gus the Crocodile Apr 10, 2018 @ 8:38pm 
Tracking sites closing is a positive. Oh no, I can't access people's information without permission.

Incredibly few people took Steam Spy's data with the requisite helping of salt, so mostly it was just a source of gamers making rubbish assumptions about developers, pointless sales-figure cockfighting, and the occasional ridiculous blog post.

More privacy should always be the default setting (edit: well, okay, let me rather say that this is a general tendency, not an absolute rule. But Valve's choice here seems good.)
Last edited by Gus the Crocodile; Apr 10, 2018 @ 8:42pm
CAT-800 Apr 10, 2018 @ 8:50pm 
Nice, but I'd like to suggest considering creating a setting for the friends list to stop stalker types. from harassing friends. I'd also like the option to selectively hide and reveal game as I may want to reveal some games I have like Obscure, Road Redemption, and some other, but hide some I got from promotions that I don't play.
Cronos Apr 10, 2018 @ 9:14pm 
Why is it that when Valve introduces a privacy setting, it's usually "Private" by default? The "Expose Public Match Data" option in Dota 2 should be on by default, but instead, players have to manually enable their match history to be shown for third-party websites.
Last edited by Cronos; Apr 10, 2018 @ 9:15pm
Blackfyre Apr 10, 2018 @ 9:14pm 
I agree with OP. In general having more privacy as the default is a good principle, but that doesn't apply here because most people with public profiles do want this information shared and would not be aware that it has been suddenly hidden without asking or even informing them.

The game details setting should default to the same as the profile privacy setting, as people with private profiles usually want private stats and people with public profiles usually want public stats. This best captures the users' wishes, saves Steam related websites and tools, and still allows anyone to change to a different setting if they prefer.
DarkSpartan Apr 10, 2018 @ 9:25pm 
Making all information hidden by default was a really bad decision imho.

What Steam has to win by harming tracking sites like SteamDB and SteamSpy?
Last edited by DarkSpartan; Apr 10, 2018 @ 10:38pm
Euphytose Apr 10, 2018 @ 9:55pm 
Originally posted by Cronos:
Why is it that when Valve introduces a privacy setting, it's usually "Private" by default? The "Expose Public Match Data" option in Dota 2 should be on by default, but instead, players have to manually enable their match history to be shown for third-party websites.

I know right? Why is it that by default, I can't enter someone's house until they allow me in? I should be able to enter anyone's house until they specifically tell me not to.

@ The news itself, invisible mode will be greatly welcome.
Last edited by Euphytose; Apr 10, 2018 @ 9:56pm
Gus the Crocodile Apr 10, 2018 @ 9:59pm 
Originally posted by Blackfyre:
I agree with OP. In general having more privacy as the default is a good principle, but that doesn't apply here because most people with public profiles do want this information shared and would not be aware that it has been suddenly hidden without asking or even informing them.

The game details setting should default to the same as the profile privacy setting, as people with private profiles usually want private stats and people with public profiles usually want public stats. This best captures the users' wishes, saves Steam related websites and tools, and still allows anyone to change to a different setting if they prefer.
I agree that an active notification would be a good idea for changes like this - even Facebook puts a "hey, we updated the privacy options, let us take you through what's changed" message up for you.

But if we're operating on the idea that most people have (or had, rather) the privacy setting they want, and that most of those public profile users actively want their information shared, then surely, we only got to that state by users making their profiles that way, consciously, without a notification (because there has never been one). So if we got to the "mostly everyone has it set up the way they want" state before, there's no reason we won't get to that point again. If it really is true that all these people actively want their game lists public, then they'll make them public, and tracking sites can go back to using them.

The way I see it, the only reason to object on these grounds is if you actually suspect that a significant chunk of the people who left their profiles public didn't do so out of a conscious choice, but rather they'd just left it on the default because they hadn't really thought about it. And that's not consent, it's not "wanting the information shared".
Last edited by Gus the Crocodile; Apr 10, 2018 @ 10:00pm
NoClutch Apr 10, 2018 @ 10:11pm 
Agreed, I don't want this. Not only is the UI bugged on release, it also makes it more difficult to protect yourselves against scammers, which were prevalent enough on the platform without this.

Where's the user feedback that "caused" this update? I can't find it anywhere
I have nothing to add I just want to show support in a system that lacks voting +1
Ooga Booga Apr 10, 2018 @ 10:56pm 
I like the change, I think the default should be set to public though. On a side note I'd love if you could choose to hide your friend list to people
Anna | MissBlowjob Apr 10, 2018 @ 11:57pm 
Originally posted by Poggers:
I like the change, I think the default should be set to public though. On a side note I'd love if you could choose to hide your friend list to people
agreed about friend list
goodone Apr 11, 2018 @ 12:18am 
afaict, u can't change the settings atm, they don't stick when u do, which doesn't surprise, considering there's no save button either.
Kelthorian Apr 11, 2018 @ 12:27am 
More options for the user are always a good thing. But not explicitly notifying people about this, especially when it is a change to a default value is bad IMHO.

Besides you could already make your profile private so I see little value of this. Unless Valve specifically wants to kill 3rd party tracking sites.
goodone Apr 11, 2018 @ 12:29am 
Originally posted by Kelthorian:
Besides you could already make your profile private so I see little value of this. Unless Valve specifically wants to kill 3rd party tracking sites.
that much is obvious.
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Date Posted: Apr 10, 2018 @ 8:11pm
Posts: 49