The first thing that Valve tells us is that the company collects and processes the data according to GDPR regulations of the European Union, and the California CCPA. At first, we do not have to worry about the use you make of this information, since it will not be different from what other companies (such as Twitter, Facebook or Google) can do and everything will comply with the laws established in the previous regulations. But we are going to see everything in detail.
What data does Valve collect from Steam users?
The company can collect data and information of many different types. Some of this data is anonymous and cannot be used to identify the user, while others are of a more personal nature and could be used for identification purposes. Valve indicates that the reasons you can collect data from your users are:
- When necessary to provide a service and deliver the content and services.
- When necessary to comply with legal obligations.
- When necessary to fulfill the legitimate and legal interests of Valve or a third party.
- When we have given consent for it.
Regarding the data that you can collect, these are:
- Basic account information. Within this section Valve will collect the email address of the users and the country of residence. Other related data, such as username or password, can also be saved.
- Payment details. The information that we provide to make payments within the platform. For example, credit card details (name, address, credit card number, expiration date and security code), or PayPal account, among other information.
- Other data. Other information that we provide, such as everything we publish, comment on or follow, what we send via chat, the information we provide when requesting assistance, and the information we provide when participating in competitions, sweepstakes or tournaments.
Valve also collects a large amount of usage information from the Steam client. Among other things, the information collected in this section is related to the browser and device from which we access, automatic interactions and use. Personal data about the use of games and other subscriptions is also collected, such as the unique Steam identifier that is generated for each user.
What use is made of the data
Valve can use this data in many different ways. For example, the company uses the cookies that are generated in the browser when visiting its website to analyze the use made by users of its services. The information collected in any of the points that we have seen before can also be used to show personalized recommendations to users, or to send personalized marketing emails.
The company indicates that this information could also be used to detect, investigate and prevent fraud, cheating and other violations stipulated in the Steam subscriber agreement, as well as to comply with applicable laws. In addition, if the data is being used in any type of research they could not even disclose it to us.
Valve also indicates that does not sell personal data, but you could share them with third parties, or give these third parties access to a part of them as long as some conditions are met. For example, required by Valve or its partners, requested by third-party service providers, or required to comply with the law by court order.
All data can be stored for as long as it takes, and the only way to get Valve to erase all of our data is to delete the Steam account. Finally, it should be noted that the minimum age to register on Steam (and this data can be collected) is 13 years.