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Blizzard and Facebook offer an opt-out; will 2K?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by evrett37, May 27, 2010.

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Should there be an Opt out option ?

  1. Yes

    75.0%
  2. No

    25.0%
  1. evrett37

    evrett37 Prince

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    I read today that the owners of facebook will be providing members the ability to opt out of sharing information contained and collected about the customer's account. I also read Blizzard, the Warcraft people, will be doing this too..though you have to send some obscure dept. an email or letter, which might be setting the bar a bit high for a few of their customers.

    There is a debate going on about why the settings dont start out opted out and people can choose to opt in. I beleive the consensus is that the companies make lots of money selling your information to advertisers and dont want people to opt out.

    I bring up this for 2 reason - 1) to point out that businesses are not your friend; they are in the business of making money off you and 2) To ask, does Steam come with an opt out feature if I dont want it to collect information from my computer or have the information from the online registration I am forced to make sold to the highest bidder.

    Should there be an opt out feature ?

    Moderator Action: Please provide a source for your claim that they sell the registration information, or leave it out of discussion - there is no lack of arguments for or against the use of Steam based on actual sources.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  2. paradigmx

    paradigmx Say yes to Steam

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    What opt-out? 2k won't be collecting your information for any reasons.

    Now, are you talking about steam perhaps? because steam will need your information if you purchase online, but steam does not give away your information, they collect aggregate information, but that won't include your personal information.

    http://www.valvesoftware.com/privacy.html
     
  3. Tylerryan79

    Tylerryan79 Emperor

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    Yes there should be. Facebook is under the microscope, so i see why they had to do this. The fact that blizzard did is great, even if it takes some work to do. I never heard anything about them(blizzard) on the news, so for them to do this on their own speaks volumes on their part. Steam should take the high road and do this as well.

    For those of you who may say they infact dont sell your info, I want to know what world you live in. People/companies will do anything for a buck, if you think steam is your best buddy/pal its because thats what the want you to think.

    "Hey check out how easy gaming is now, and you also get to be connected to millions of fellow gamers!" Steam says, as they slowly collect and sell millions of peoples gaming habits and misc data to the highest bidder.
     
  4. paradigmx

    paradigmx Say yes to Steam

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    I'm not claiming they don't all willy-nilly, read the privacy agreement, they collect aggregate information with no personal details involved.

    And if you think they're gonna do it anyway, then what good would an opt-out be? If they would ignore their own privacy agreement to do it, what makes you think they wouldn't just ignore an opt-out as well?
     
  5. Rebel44

    Rebel44 Warlord

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    I agree.

    Also for companies like Valve, trust from their customers is more important for their long term profit than few dollars they would make by selling such info (privately held companies like Valve are also more resistant to such stupid decisions because they dont have to worry about their share prices on Wallstreet, short term investors etc.).

    They arent saints, but neither they are stupid.
     
  6. Tylerryan79

    Tylerryan79 Emperor

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    I just read their privacy policy, and not being a lawyer, it didnt seem as concrete as some are making it out to be. From what I read it seems like 1. They collect info on you 2. They compile it so you are not identifiable 3. They share it (sell) with third parties. But it also stated a few times things like "we dont share your personal information at all, except where stated below". Then stated below its worded so that they can basicly sell anything they want. Also there is no way for anyone to absolutly know what they are, and are not, doing with info they collect. So ya they want your trust, but beyond working there Nd knowing what they are doing, youd never have proof to not trust them.

    Also i read a post here having to do with info steam had collected on macs and having to do with less crashes on macs. In the article this was from, it mentions how steam would look and see what other programs the macs and/or pcs where running to see conflicts ect. The fact that they can see that info, means if they want they can see all your info, cookies from webpages and browsing history ect. When I read that privacy policy they dont specifically mention that, but its all hidden under a vague generalization of "we collect your information".

    They also do have an "opt out", but not in the sense the OP is talking about. Its "You can opt out of sending use info, by not using our products" basicly, from what the privacy policy reads.


    Its not a few dollars, its a multi million dollar buisness, hundreds of millions of dollars. Shareholders want profits, and that right there is some big profits, and just on a side buisness. I think when they had the meeting, and the one guy said " but what about the customers trust?". Everyone turn there heads and laughed at him.

    Aslo there is that 1 hour audio segment thats been mentioned on the forum, and a member who listened to it posted some comments about just this subject. Im not familiar with the guys at valve who were on the audio, but they talked about the money making aspect of the info trade. It didnt aound like they werent getting their peice of the pie. But youd have to listen and decide for yourself.

    My point is.... Millions upon millions of dollars, or not having millions of millions of dollars. :)
     
  7. paradigmx

    paradigmx Say yes to Steam

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    Valve doesn't have shareholders, it's a privately held company, it has an owner and employees. Yes they are in the business of making money, but if it was discovered that Valve was selling personal information it would result in a huge backlash from their customers, which would result in customers leaving. Valve is a very smart company and I personally trust them with my information.

    As well, Valve makes roughly $70 million yearly, I don't think they're strapped for cash
     
  8. Charybdis

    Charybdis Scion Doomgiver

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    Link to the news article on the blizzard opt out?
     
  9. Tylerryan79

    Tylerryan79 Emperor

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    I didnt know thry are a private company, thanks for the info. I will be using steam, because my other option is not being able to play civ. Its not a matter of trust and not trust. Im not dealing with one person, but a company. The whole mission is to generate profits. 70 million may seem like a lot to the average person(me included) but companies are always looking to expand and grow. I dont think there is anything they could really do to misuse the info, and gain a profit, that they would consider. My main beef, if any, is that they should have an option of having no third party disclosure of any sort, if I so choose. Right now theres about noone doing this, except facebook. They had a group formed of hundreds of thousands of users seeking that option. Thata why facebook has come to the decision of hqving an opt out. However steam and facebook are not the same, as far as i know, so i dont see an uprising on that scale happening. I know facebook has around 500 million users, and i dont know what steams numbers are, but thats a lot of information.

    Down the road what they do with it is up to them. Id rather not have to trust or not trust, but choose a third option, of no disclosure of info, beyond what i tell them is ok or not ok. So heres my email name ect, but you can never under any circumstance beyond court order give it to anyone, and you may never seek, gather, track, ect any information from me without my consent. Also any profit gained from my activities after the fact i paid you for this service, give me half :)
     
  10. Jamuka

    Jamuka Warlord

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    From wikipedia
    Steam collects and reports anonymous metrics of its usage, stability, and performance. With the exception of Valve's hardware survey, most collection occurs without notifying the user or offering an opt-out.​


    So: You CAN opt out of the hardware survey, it has a popup when it does it and asks you. You CAN turn off a public profile, infact it is off by default.
    The other information collected is standard on any gaming platform. Usage/crashes/performance are collected on xbox, playstation, any blizzard game, and almost every other online game. And for steam its anonymous.


    Yes, and like most businesses, trust of the customer is important to profits.
     
  11. Tylerryan79

    Tylerryan79 Emperor

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    They clearly state in the privacy policy that they are selling your information, in one way shape ore form. Polls emails ect you can opt out of. The main issue I think isnt trust, because like you said above everyone does it. The main issue is having a choice, besides not using steam, to opt out of every kind of information gathering that they will use to sell to a third party. So far facebook and blizzard are they only people who do it.

    On a side note, you can buy "buisness leads", basicly names and addressess and #'s of potential customers. These lists are generated through information gathering, then sold to buisness so they can reach people who fit the companies target consumer. Thats just one thig done through information gathering.

    If you dont mind companies mining for information and selling it thats fine. Some people do, thats fine. I think most people would agree theres really no harm? I also think that like the do not call list, people should be able to opt out. If you want to argue about trust, thats not really the point. Its about peoples rights to absolute privacy, if they so choose, beyond not using steam. If facebook can do this why not everyone?
     
  12. mjs0

    mjs0 The 4th X

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    For legalese I thought the Valve privacy policy was actually pretty easy to read but I must be missing something because nowhere can I find it clearly stated that they sell personal information.
    I would be concerned about this, but want to make sure I understand the issue before reacting. I'd appreciate it if someone could point me at the relevant section.
    Thanks.
     
  13. Tylerryan79

    Tylerryan79 Emperor

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    Valve may share aggregate information and individual information with other parties.
    Valve will not share personally identifiable information with any third party unless the user agrees to such disclosure in advance.
    Valve may allow third parties performing services under contract with Valve to access stored information but such access shall only be to the extent necessary to provide those services.
    Personally identifiable information protected under this privacy policy and collected from users may be done in conjunction with associates under agreement with Valve.
    Furthermore, external websites and companies with links to and from Valve's online sites and products may collect personal information about users. Valve's privacy policy does not extend to these external websites and companies. Please refer directly to these companies and websites regarding their privacy policies.

    If you read that and literaly think they are sharing it for free, i think your mistaken.
    Third parties under contract could mean for example, i company b, have a contract to look at and use information from company a.
    Assosiates under agreement with valve could mean employees, or employees of another company under contract with valve, or a whole other company. Under agreement means to me money exchange.
    The last one is more like when you leave our site the other sites goig to do what ever they want with any info you give them. But ads and links maybe paying valve for ad space ect, not really what we are talking about.
     
  14. mjs0

    mjs0 The 4th X

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    OK nothing I hadn't already seen then
    If it doesn't personally identify me I am not really bothered, and individual information is defined in the document so that it doesn't. Chances are this is demographic usage information that could be extremely valuable to developers and distributors. If they can make money selling this and that helps keeps the infrastructure free for gamers to use I give it a hearty thumbs up.
    If I have to approve it then its not an issue
    Surely this is Valve paying others to do something during the performance of which they may be given access to customer data. This to me means if they hire another company to perform a task, host their servers, write code, test releases, process credit card transactions (i.e. a payment gateway), etc, then that third party may have access to some customer data but it goes on to say they will be bound by this policy, so that doesn't bother me.
    This is the only vaguely troubling item, mostly because it makes no sense...i.e. it isn't good English so it's hard to figure out what it means! It might mean that associates (third parties) collect some of the data for Valve under agreement, but I'm not sure. It seems to me to imply monetary exchange but with Valve doing the paying. Regardless I see enough reasonable statements about respecting privacy in the rest of the document that this doesn't really make me nervous either.
    As you say in your next post...this is business as usual...once you leave Valve's site it is your call whether you share any info.


    Thanks for pointing those out...although I have to say I simply don't see the clear statement you alluded to in your original post.
    Bit of a storm in a tea cup for me I'm afraid.
    Thanks for the quick response though I do appreciate it.

    I can't say I have any problem with what I see here beyond the normal disquiet when a document says it could change without notice or recourse. Of course that is true of the vast majority of website agreements so it's tough to pin that one on Valve.
     
  15. Tylerryan79

    Tylerryan79 Emperor

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    Ya i agree with everything you wrote, the part about doing services, where you state access to servers ect, your right with what you wrote, but services is a vague word, since it doesnt define what services are, it could be used in any form they want. These policies are so vague and open to interpertation for a reason, namely written by a team of lawyers for the sole protection of the company, not for ours. Thats the one reason an opt out doesnt seem like a bad idea to me.

    Corrections, Updates and Removal of Information
    If you are concerned about the accuracy of personal information maintained by Valve or would like your personal information removed from Valve's records, please contact us by emailing privacy@valvesoftware.com for review, update, or removal of personal information.

    Does anyone know if you email them to remove your info that you loose acess to steam and your games? This may be the opt out we are discussing?
     
  16. mjs0

    mjs0 The 4th X

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    An opt out couldn't hurt that's for sure!
    (Although personally I have no problem with the aggregate data so they can keep that as far as I'm concerned)

    Opt outs are definitely a trend I'd like to see continue.

    edit: I think if you have your info removed your access to your games would have to go too, after all they would no longer be able to verify your identity!
     
  17. Chalks

    Chalks The blue pieces

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    This means that Valve may not be the ones writing the software that collects the information directly - for example, if they use a third party crash analysis tool to work out why a game has crashed, it is not necessarily being collected by them but rather by an associate. Something like google analytics on a webpage would also fall under this category - information that is not being directly gathered by Valve.

    It is, however, covered by the privacy policy that says it will not be sold on to anyone.

    It is perfectly reasonable.

    It depends what you ask them to remove. They require an email address and a password in order for your steam account to exist. If you have made any digital purchases, they will be required by law to keep a record of your purchasing information in case of disputes.

    Obviously if you ask them to delete your account, you won't be able to use your account.

    You're under the impression that they've some how obtained a whole load of information that you didn't give them. They're not magic, a standard Steam account only contains your email address and what ever other information you type into it when you register it.

    Don't listen to the conspiracy theorists, especially evrett37. Steam only collects the information that is necessary to perform its operation, there is absolutely no evidence to indicate that it does anything else. People are just making this up.

    There is already an "opt out" for everything you could possibly opt out of.

    Moderator Action: Stop the personal attacks
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  18. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    AFAIK you can tell steam to not collect info already. You can share anonymous statistics if you wish and you can participate in the polling, but you no not have to.
     
  19. Sterf

    Sterf Warlord

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    Hey, this again. People misreading the EULA and spreading blatant lies like steam selling personal information, and everyone having to explain every small part of the EULA again. And again we go round and round and round on the steam roundabout discussion.

    Moderator Action: Please, don't call other users liars
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  20. Alki

    Alki Prince

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    Is it really so bad that Steam would collect your hardware data and pass that info on to games designers and the like?
     

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