Who the hell do you think you are telling people what they should or shouldnt be doning at work or school, just stfu if that is your foundation of logic.
It's called humor asshat...look into it a little. Sheesh, you couldn't see that was a joke? I was acting like my old man used to yell at us when we were goofing off. And you took it as I was being serious? Wow....just...wow...
Also, what personal data without permission are you talking about? Your name and email address are transmitted ONE time to register...AND it has your permission to do it since you're the one filling out the info. What other info could it possibly be sending back and do you THINK for a MOMENT that Valve would do anything stupid to have the entire geek world come down on it with the power of God behind it? This isn't a matter of "people are stupid and they would just do it"...not in this day and age, sorry.
Take off your tin-foil hat you paranoid moron. You're not giving them your social security number, you're not giving them access to your bank account...you're not giving them anything really if you don't want to!
Really, get a grip..."all the information....personal data without permission...." it boggles my mind that some people think this way. Then you shouldn't sign up for an ISP, they want info too! What about your bank! They want SS numbers and your phone number! THOSE BASTARDS! Don't apply for a job, you have to fill out ALL KINDS of information!
LOL and Steam is hardly a limited audience...considering it's one of the largest online communities in the world right now.
OK, so in review here Acleacius, since you're so fired up about all this info being transmitted to Steam, I should point out other programs that do the exact same thing. Any browser you have running right now reading this thread, iTunes, any program that says "would you like to register right now" on the install, any anti-virus software that runs in the background and does updates to it's database through the net. Where is all your righteous indignation for all those? Hmmm?
I don't think computers are for you, perhaps going back to paper and pencil and books are more in line.