Steam tweaks privacy settings, will soon let you be invisible while online


Your basic details remain public, but your profile summary, friends list, badges, Steam Level, showcases, comments, and group membership are all hidden from view until you decide to share them with others.

Half-Life 2
Steam profile privacy settings get expanded, an invisible mode is also in the works

In a post on the Steam Blog, Valve explains that "these privacy options come directly from user feedback".

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SteamSpy is an analytics-focused site that helps determine how many players own a specific game, how many concurrent users a game had at one point, and other tidbits of useful information that many, including journalists, utilized when writing articles or making buyign decisions.

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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". On Twitter, Sergey Galyonkin stated the site would be shutting down due to Valve making everyone's Steam game library hidden by default as part of the new privacy settings. For example, gamers can now hide their "in-game" status, as well as their playtimes and achievements. This setting also controls whether you're seen as "in-game" and the title of the game you are playing. Now we won't be able to get the same kind of detailed information we were previously able to. "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". 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. A new "invisible" mode is now being worked on which will sit alongside the "online", "away", and "offline" options. Likewise, those who specifically choose to do so may have a profile of their own, which wouldn't make Steam Stats' statistics representative of the entire Steam user base.

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Today, perhaps prompted by ongoing concerns about data privacy online, Valve announced a new privacy update for Steam. Speaking of future plans, Steam also mentioned that they're working on a new "invisible mode" so that they can appear offline but still view their friends list, as well as send and receive messages. We hope to have this feature ready for beta release soon.