Home >technology >apps >Steam offers greater privacy controls to gamers

The recent controversy involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica is making tech companies re-examine their privacy options and offer greater control to users over their online data.

Valve Corporation has announced new changes in the privacy settings of Steam, a leading PC gaming platform with more than 150 million registered user accounts, as of early 2018.

While it’s widely known for its game store, Steam also offers a bunch of community based options to users such as friend list, groups, profile and chats on the lines of a social media platform.

Under the new privacy policy, Steam now provides users the option to control who can or cannot see their profile details, which includes Game Details and Inventory. One can access these features in Profile->Edit profile->My Privacy Settings.

Game Details shows the entire list of games purchased, downloaded and played along with the progress, last active time and the total playtime for each of them. Until now, the data was there to be viewed by anyone on the Steam Community. Now, Steam provides users the option to limit this access to their friends or to keep their game details private.

Steam has added an option in Game Details which allows users to keep their total playtime private even if they have given their friends access to their profile.

The second element in profile is Inventory. It includes trading cards received by users as rewards in different games. These cards are like a virtual currency and can be used to customise Steam avatars, background profile and unlock new emoticons which can then be used during in-game chats. Users can now restrict their friends from seeing this data too on the same page.

Steam now gives users the option to restrict unknown people on the Community from commenting on their profile. Users can restrict the option to friends only or keep it private.

Users can now choose to decide which game screenshots uploaded by them can be viewed by the community, friends or are available only to them. This option will appear in screenshot manager.

Valve is also working on an Invisible mode on Steam which will show users as offline to their friends and other users, while they can still play games, check activities and progress of their friends and send/receive messages. As of now Steam provides online, offline and away as status options to users.

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