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Potential Star Trek Timelines privacy issue sees resources shut down in protest

Major Star Trek Timelines resources have shut down in protest of a privacy issue posed by developer Tilting Point’s new “Offer Wall”.

“Hello all,” Timelines player and The Big Book of Behold Advice creator Captain Idol wrote on the game’s forums on behalf of a number of resources.

“The Big Book Of Behold Advice, The Little Book Of Cadet Advice, The Super Hyper Stats/Backend Sheets and My Own Datacore Analysis Sheets have all shut down in protest of the offer wall. The message is as follows:

“Finding it unsafe and predatory, we do not believe the Offer Wall is an acceptable addition to the game we all love. We cannot in good conscience support a game that employs this system. While the Offer Wall remains, this resource and certain related resources will not continue. Thank you to the players for your years of feedback and support.”

The Big Book of Behold Advice and its sister resources have proven invaluable to Star Trek Timelines players across Windows PC, iOS and Android, helping them to understand which crew in the stats-heavy game are worth investing into and which will be beneficial in certain mission types.

Timelines recently added the Offer Wall into the game as a means for players to earn “free” Dilithium, its premium in-game currency. So far, all available offers involve the completion of a survey, offering up general details about yourself and your situation. That information is then sold to third-parties for their own use. If you delve into the surveys’ screens far enough, that information becomes clear, but mightn’t be to those engaging with the system for the first time.

Timelines developer Tilting Point has made comment on the Offer Wall and privacy concerns of users, saying, “when we implemented the Offer Wall, we did it with the best intentions; to add a new avenue for players to obtain premium currency. We understand that due to the nature of this feature, and more specifically of some of the offers presented, this generated mistrust.

“We take our players’ privacy very seriously, and that is why we want to confirm here that we implemented this feature by choosing the most cautious option available: denying consent regarding the sharing of personal data by default.”

While the Offer Wall itself is optional — regardless of whether players fully understand that their offered-up information will then be sold — many players see it as a privacy violation, believing personal data will be scraped from the game’s ad server, IronSource, and then sold off regardless of actual engagement.

“You should absolutely take this more seriously,” Redditor heelstoo wrote. “IronSource is not a company to be trusted. Google search for ‘ironsource lawsuit’ and you will see that they have been sued several times for privacy violations and for deceptively installing malware on people’s devices.

“This is a big privacy concern even if you never open the Wall. Personal private information, without your knowledge or consent, is being sent from your device to IronSource. What information is being sent? That’s a part of the problem – we don’t know yet. We just know that information is being sent.”

Star Trek Timelines is available now on Windows PC via Facebook & Steam, iOS and Android devices.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for close to fifteen years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.