"Active Now" Serious Privacy Concerns
Like many people, I greatly dislike the "Active Now" panel for its redundancy, the space it takes up, and the fact that I can't toggle it off or on.
But what concerns me the most is that it's not clear to me if we have any means of controlling what is shown here of our own activity. Can anyone confirm this? I do NOT want my activity to be shared! I specifically toggle this off in the 'Game Activity' section of Settings, but I don't see any clear settings that relate to the Active Now panel.
I also do not appreciate seeing every detail of what other people are doing. I feel incredibly invasive and uncomfortable knowing that someone is in a voice chat somewhere. That is a crazy deep level of privacy invasion that I did not ask for, do not desire, and am immensely bothered to think that other people don't have a way of stopping me from seeing it - almost as much as it bothers me to not be able to do the same to protect my own privacy.
I've seen other posts from people here indicating that this has already caused problems for them, showing activity in servers to people who have no business knowing about those servers, and showing NSFW things that we have no power to screen out.
This is a really serious issue and I am frankly astonished that it was rolled out without any option to OPT OUT. I am among the many people who hated the recent UI changes, and I'm extremely disappointed to see no movement on addressing any of the complaints there, but it's this privacy concern that is actually pushing me toward the edge of reconsidering Discord altogether.
Invisible mode? Don't friend random people?-14
Suggesting that Invisible mode solves this problem is extremely short-sighted. If all of us used Discord for only one single game, one single purpose, then whether or not you want to engage with that single game/purpose would indeed be solved by simply being "online" or not. But we all know that people use Discord for multiple purposes all at once - multiple games, multiple communities, personal communication, family communication, professional/business communication. If we had the option to make our Invisible status apply individually to chosen servers or groups of people that would be different, but we don't.
If one has Friended a family member, or a co-worker, or that guildie who we frequently need to coordinate in-game activities with but who we don't want knowing about our side-game or what we do in our personal time, that Active Now panel gives them direct insight into where we are and what we're doing that is completely unacceptable without a means to OPT OUT.
When I see people on my Friends list I don't automatically assume that entitles me to know everything they're doing. I also don't use it to judge whether or not they're paying enough attention to me and the game I want them to be playing, if instead they are wanting to play something else, or be in a private server with their family/friends or D&D group or freakin' garden-gnome-collectors-anonymous club.I have no right to know about their private servers or their voice chat activity that doesn't include me, and they have no right to know about mine.
There's a very good reason Discord gave us a settings option to turn off our Game Activity feed. What I'm trying to understand is if there's an option somewhere I haven't yet found that lets us turn this off for the Active Now panel (which is more detailed and invasive than Game Activity ever was). And if there's not, I want to give forceful feedback to the Discord team that that's unacceptable in a platform that is deliberately trying to be multi-purpose and get people to cross the various streams of their lives in its use. Some streams of our lives are not meant to cross over, and we need to have an option to choose that.18
Yes, making invisible mode a per-other-user setting would be awesome-3
1. it shows games based on your game activity/playing status, disabling that should prevent it from showing the game you're playing
2. it only shows voice channel and other in-server activity if both you and that user are in the server
3. this is not new, its an old feature that was recently moved from the Activity page to the Friends page.-11
Thanks, Advaith, I genuinely appreciate the response. If opting out in the 'Game Activity' settings actually applies to the new Active Now, that's good. (Unfortunately it's hard to test what other people see of me, since I can't emulate that.)
However, are you sure that it only shows voice channel and server activity if both you and that user are in the server? That doesn't match with reports I've seen elsewhere on these forums, like this one: https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360057746971-Opt-Out-of-Active-Now-Tab
And I've seen others like that too, where people are reporting that the Active Now tab has shown others activity in servers they are not a part of.3
@Artemis: Invisible Mode does NOT help! If you are in a voice chat others will now you are there even IF you are Invisible!
Bravo Discord Team: STALKING is now possible and really easy with Discord. You even know which server a friend of yours is in even if you do NOT share that Server! AND you can even ENTER SAID SERVER even if you are NOT supposed to do so (and should not be able to see that server in the first place!)10
@TheMarkus1204: You're echoing reports I've seen elsewhere, and these are exactly the things that concern me. This level of privacy invasion should NOT be possible. I know we live in the social media age where too many people seem to think that sharing every detail of what they do with the world is important and normal, but that sort of behavior and transparency needs to be optional. It's unacceptable that we cannot control this right now, and I really wish there was a way to bring this to Discord's attention more forcefully.
There must be an option we can toggle that prevents any and all of our activity from showing up on that Activity Now panel.
They gave us Invisible mode for a reason, and now have invalidated it. They gave us the ability to turn off Game Activity for a reason, and now enforced on us something much more invasive. A "Friends" function doesn't mean we want to give everyone on that list full access to our activities; that's like saying adding someone to "Contacts" on your phone should mean you want them to know every call you make and YouTube video you watch.9
A while ago I came across an article about how turning off game activity does NOT stop Discord's program from scanning what's running on your computer. I would imagine the same lack of privacy exists for what you are trying to bring to their attention as well, seeing as the issue was never formally addressed or fixed by Discord's devs/management. It's the very reason why I do not have the program installed on my computer, and why I must suffer with the web version. And I DO mean SUFFER, because all the needless and mostly useless updates causes the web version to refresh itself to the point where it takes minutes to type just a few words!5
Using Web UI is not that bad! I am using it, too and have not suffered from the Problem you describe in your post @Richie. However, you are right as Game Activity is a part of Active Now - visible in Friends list!1
@TheMarkus1204 and anyone else who has seen how the "go to server" thing works for seeing and accessing Friends' servers to which you were not invited: can anyone give a bit of a step by step of what that looks like? I ask because I just today read an article put out by Discord where they were promoting the use of teachers using Discord as virtual classrooms with "invite only" servers for their students while everyone is in lockdown, and the first thing I thought was about this gaping security and privacy hole. If a bunch of random and unknown-in-real-life people that students have Friended for the purposes of gaming can now both see and potentially access those students' classroom servers, that is an utter disaster. If they didn't listen to us about our security concerns as individuals, maybe this will wake them up. I'd like to take some details from other people's experiences and make a new post in the Other forum with a fresh plea for them to pay attention to this.2
I really do NOT want to see what my friends are doing in this Active Now Tab AS I AM SEEING IT IN FRIENDS LIST ALREADY! I do NOT want to know for HOW LONG they are Playing a specific game! I do NOT want to STALK any of my friends! But this is exactly what you have done! You make EVERYONE on Discord a potential STALKER, because now we can clearly see WHAT OUR FRIENDS ARE DOING AND WHEN!!
I don't want to know what my friends are listenting to on Spotify, Deezer or whatever!
All I want is to DISABLE this SHITTY Active Now Bar!!!
IS this really necessary?!
Reactions are at least better now with the "recently used" emojis not shown anymore! (But they are there if you right click a message)...7
(cross posting my reply in similar topic)
As someone who's got a big friend list because I "run a community" and people need to DM me sometimes, very disturbed+annoyed to notice this feature today and find that people can potentially just join my supposed-to-be-private servers and that there seems to be no personal or per-server option to hide from that kind of behavior. Being invisible all the time is not really an option.4
I can confirm you have to share a server w/ a person to see people in voice. Just tested it. Game status is in game activity settings.-3
This option really needs to be removed, or at least allow you to opt out of being shown in the active now section. I have a stalker from a game I use to play, who is blocked and muted. However we have some mutual friends in another server. He now can see who I am talking to and where and MESSAGES them ... hello? What happened to our privacy? I am grateful you let us turn off the feature to show what game we are playing, so with the same courtesy please, turn off the option for us to appear in "active now".3
I can confirm that this feature does not show voice activity if the friend question is not in the same server.
I just made a second Discord account to test this feature, and I cannot see my voice activity in any server that my new account is not in.3
I'm joining the others before me for a way to please please let us disable the active now bar. I'm using discord for both playing and studying groups. I don't want to see what all my friends doing playing the games that I know I don't have time to play! When I'm focusing on my studies I ca just hide and mute all the gaming servers so it doesn't distract me. When I'm letting loose and playing all day I can do the same with the study groups. I don't need it to be rubbed into my face what my my friends are doing all the time!2
Something that really really troubles me about this section is that it will show video (or at least updated screen grabs) of a friend who is currently streaming via "Go Live".
This shows up when:
- You are friends
- A friend is streaming via "Go Live"
- You are part of that friend's server
Now don't get me wrong. I understand that it's possible for a user to join the channel and see what you're streaming. So this shouldn't seem like an issue, right? Wrong. It's unclear to users that their stream will broadcast in this way. It opens up the possibility for users to unintentionally stream private or sensitive content to users without their knowledge.
When a user joins your stream, you are alerted by it. They have to be part of your voice channel. It's clear who is seeing your content.
There do not seem to be any settings to control this.
I've seen a bunch of threads related to the Active Now section. Please don't let these go overlooked. These are valid concerns.2
I'm worried about one thing in particular that nobody has mentioned. When in a private call and sharing a screen or window, discord will in detail tell you what you're sharing. I noticed my private call partner had a "sharing their screen" status.
Does this show for friends OUTSIDE your call too? Can people not active in my private calls, see the name of what I'm sharing?1
This is ridiculous. I don't believe they can be this neglectful or shortsighted to not predict those issues.
It has to be changed and fast.1
I absolutely agree on this topic, it makes me extremely uncomfortable that basically my whole friends list can just see what I'm doing, where I'm at, and who I'm with, I'd want to keep my activity on Discord PRIVATE (please) ! Not smeared over this page on the right side of the tab where anyone who has it open, can just see me there. Even if some people don't mind it or see those things as small and nothing to worry about, I still just don't like it and I'd rather that info stays far away from any prying eyes. So I'm full on about the idea of having a setting to not be included in that tab and to turn it off.0
You know what's even crazier now is this stage crap. I turned off activity status for stage but it only turns off on your status but still shows activity regardless. Someone literally followed me to a server I wanted them to know nothing about.. I'm beyond pissed off1
I know how you feel about it. But it seems the devs do not care about it (or are not able to fix their own BS). Because if they would, this crap would have never been implemented OR at least in another way!
A thing that WOULD potentially help: NOT being displayed in ACTIVE NOW, while being INVISIBLE!1
About this i have to say, this who say to use invi mode or don't add untrusted ppl, maybe should think a bit more. Invisible mode doesn't hide anything, Discord keep telling to everyone in wich server you are and if you are on voice or write any word, and about trust ppl, sometimes you can trust someone to the point is your gf, but then you break up and continue being friends, so yeah that girl is very right saying this is invasive since you can keep track of what your ex its doing all the time and she can also see what you do all the time, this can cause a lot of pain to the parts involved that just wanted keep being friends without know with who and where your ex its flirting. And even if its true most of ppl that don't want being tracked its cuz are doing bad things, and usually are toxic cheaters and liers so Discord probably didn't thought about how toxic can be ppl on internet, is not the job of Discord to expose liers and cheaters and there is also bad ppl that can use that info to track the activity of good ppl that isn't doing anything bad to bully them. Love is at 1 step from hate, friends turns easy enemies if the heart of your love is the big prize, everyone is fake on internet even the kindest person, trust someone on the internet even if its your friend irl is naive, but the consequences of Discord exposing ppl can be the ruin of the life of some of that green lights we use to call our friends.
In my opinion someone should demand Discord for the leak of private info and the damage already done to the lifes of the ppl that got exposed. And since I see the post is 1 year old and still nothing change, I think thats the best way someone on the staff read it, and solve the problem.0
Update: "Now Discord also takes an screenshot OF YOUR SCREEN if you sharing it to someone AND IT SHOW A PIC OF IT TO EVERYONE IN YOUR FEEDBACK"0
yep and this is exactly why I switched to using Discord in the browser. Cant scan for programs if you run discord in a browser nor can it show you annoying pop-ups in-game. Although if anyone knows how to block the app from scanning for running programs via windows firewall or some other feature please reply below.1
Two years go by and there's no change to this "feature" lol.
Discord developers are a joke. Keep adding features nobody asked about while refusing to fix blatant privacy issues within the app.
This has nothing to do with who you add as a friend or whatever BS people in this thread have tried to rationalize. This is about having control over what your application shares about you at any given time. It's a pretty simple concept and if you can't grasp that much, you're probably an easy target for malicious people online. Have fun with that.0
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