Valve has made a variety of new changes to the default privacy settings on Steam. The games service has made some serious changes to the platform to improve security and privacy for their users. But in a bit of bad news, we may be seeing the final nail in the coffin of data collection services that rely on default privacy settings.
One such possible casualty of these changes is SteamSpy.
SteamSpy is a data collection service that crawls Steam profiles for things like what games people own, and how many people are playing a game at any given time, among other things. With these new changes, the default setting for Steam users prevents SteamSpy from scraping the data it needs from the gaming service.
In a somewhat grim Tweet, SteamSpy announced their alarm at the change:
“Valve just made a change to their privacy settings, making games owned by Steam users hidden by default,” the tweet concisely reads. “Steam Spy relied on this information being visible by default and won’t be able to operate anymore.”
It’s unclear precisely why Valve made these changes, although it seems likely that it’s a preemptive policy shift in order to comply with new EU data protection laws that are due to go into affect this summer.
Sadly for users, journalists and anyone else interested in Steam stats, it looks like Steam won’t be openly sharing stats on par with what SteamSpy provides any time soon.