GOG.com recently announced that there are now public user profiles. They operate identical to Steam’s user profiles. Users can see what games they have in their library, add friends to their friends list, see how many hours they’ve played on a game, and even check to see what games their friends are playing. While all of that sounds like an improvement in the quality of life category, many users have been very vocal about how they despise the lack of privacy options that come with the new user profiles.
The news rolled out initially over on the official GOG.com news page, where they announced that the new personalization and gameplay stats for the user profiles was live.
In the post it explains that there’s now an activity feed, profile data, all the games you’ve acquired, and all the data, feeds, and games from your friends. This new update applies to all GOG.com users, as noted in the post…
“User Profiles are available for all GOG.COM users. Your personal gameplay stats like achievements, time played and milestones depend on GOG Galaxy, but if you’re not using the optional client you can still use the feed, post in it and interact with your friends.
“Launching profiles also means adding new privacy settings on our end. You’ll find three new Privacy options in your account’s „Privacy & settings” area. These settings allow you to set the visibility for your profile summary, your games, your friends, etc.
“So what are you waiting for? There’s so much room for activities!”
Some users were excited about the new profile features, others were far more morose. The issue many ran into was the privacy settings. It turns out you don’t get as much privacy as you may have hoped for.
User Banjo_oz commented under the news post, explaining that despite turning off as many public display options as possible, there still appeared to be parts of his profile showing up in public…
“Set everything I could to “me only” but I can’t see a way to turn off showing if I am “online” or not! This is a massive annoyance of mine for even lots of web forums, etc. already. Is there seriously no way yet to hide when we are online or visiting GOG from being totally public?!?! “
Another user going by the handle of Treasure, also had a highly rated post breaking down how all the feed data was mostly “noise” and that it made them feel like a “stalker”….
“Just checked out my profile, and, well, I can see all the gog activity of my “friends” (people I friended ages ago, and to most of whom I haven’t spoken in ages): I can see what games they started playing, what forum topics they started e.t.c Now I feel like a stalker… 🙁 (and not the game one too…)
“[…] So, @GOG: Is there any way to toggle off the datasets I might not want to see e.g. new topics started by my “friends” or games they are playing e.t.c, or even have the option to set the whole profile to private so that others won’t be able to see what I’m doing? I do hope you will implement that sometime in the future.”
Another user, going by the handle of triplett, had both a lengthy and succinct summary of how he felt about the new public profiles, writing…
“While I don’t have a fundamental problem with the concept of Profiles for those who find them useful in their social gaming interactions, I don’t think they should be obligatory and public by default in order to purchase and enjoy Good Old (and new) Games. Conflating business and social identities is a conceptual and technical mistake, IMHO. I hope GOG sorts this out soon as they gather and digest feedback on this matter.”
There are over 900 comments and counting, with an even mix of people curious, excited, and disdainful toward the new public profiles available for their GOG.com accounts.
Some gamers feel as if CD Projekt Red may begin using this data to sell it to other third-party services. Others feel as if this could end up being used in a for-profit version of Steam Spy, just for GOG.com accounts. A few more feel as if it’s just another step from our corporatocracy into the realm of privacy invasion.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t appear as if the feature is going away anytime soon, but if you feel strongly enough about the new public profile features and lack of privacy, there is a profile feedback suggestion forum that you can use in order to communicate your dissatisfaction with the feature and any possible upgrades that can be implemented to make it more privacy-friendly.