Developing: Epic Games Launcher appears to collect your steam friends & play history (Up2: Valve responds, See Threadmarks)

Oct 31, 2017
3,334
#52
Obligatory "fuck Epic" mention, but that Steam Cloud part seems like a pretty big security vulnerability with Steam if it's making some sort of API call rather than reading files from local storage.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,062
#58
Opting in to this is one thing, Having it done behind the scenes is another thing entirely
Sums it up pretty nicely. I have no problem with anybody having a look at my games and playtime. Hence why my Steam Profile is public, but reading this stuff without even asking via another Launcher is dirty as fuck.

I hope they get flag for it. That said, I'll still use the Launcher.
 

Hektor

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,029
Deutschland
#60
Collecting this data helps us to support developers make better games.
It also allows us to maintain our 12% revenue share offsetting some of our cost by selling the data to Facebook.
Sometimes, tricks like these are nessecary to obtain the ressources required to beat a behemoth like "Steam".
I assure you, you all will benefit by this in the long run.
 
Oct 25, 2017
218
#62
All Steam profiles were set to private after GDPR. I can't see what games my friends own unless they change it manually, and most people haven't bothered setting their profiles to public again. If i understand correctly this bypasses that?
If so that is very slimy.
 
Dec 15, 2018
8
#66
This sounds unnaceptable, they should not be prying into my computer at all for other programs besides their owns, and this targetting steam specially makes it sounds way scummy, they are making me measures positives and negatives of their service a lot more than they should be. My Steam Library/Purchases should not be simply taken without asking, I know Greenmangaming's profile system does that, but they specifically ask that you do so if you link accounts if I remember. (Memories inconclusive, still more respectful/legal than this way though)
 
Apr 20, 2018
579
#70
Wasnt this a thing already? The moment they talked about the % of their base that didnt use steam was pretty obvious they were taking data from u,
on the other hand, like any big company nowadays.
 

Morrigan

Armoring
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
8,297
#71
If it were opt-in after you allowed the launcher to import your Steam friends, that'd be one thing. But stealthily like that, and the playtimes.... yeah, that's sketchy as fuck.

Any indication of that in their ToS/PP?

Also, has this been tested on private Steam profiles?
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,404
#75
If it's truly not opt-in (there's probably some TOS nonsense hidden in there) then yes it's a problem. But for me personally all that information is public domain for me.
I think automatically gathering this information without a, by default, un-checked opt-in box is a violation of GDPR.
 
Oct 29, 2017
257
#77
This is their privacy website. https://www.epicgames.com/site/en-US/privacypolicy

Of particular note is section 2

(2) Information Collected Automatically When You Use Our Websites, Games, and Applications
We collect some information automatically when you visit our websites or use our games, game engines, and applications. If a combination of information that we collect does identify you as an individual, we will treat the combined information as personal information. We typically aggregate the data that we collect automatically and use it in statistical form to determine trends among groups of users, rather than using it to identify individuals.
We collect information automatically through technologies such as web browsers, cookies, log files, web beacons, and our back-end servers collect usage data transmitted from our games and other software. We use the information for purposes such as modifying or improving features, managing advertising, addressing technical issues, preventing fraud or misuse of our services, and conducting data analytics. The type of information that we automatically collect may vary, but generally includes:
  • Technical information about your computer, device, hardware, or software you use to access the Internet or our services, such as IP address or other transactional or identifier information for your device (such as device make and model, information about device operating systems and browsers, or other device or system related specifications);
  • Usage information and statistics about your interaction with our websites, games, game engines, and applications, which may include the URLs of our websites that you have visited, URLs of referring and exiting pages, page views, time spent on a page, number of clicks, platform type, the application you used or the game you played, how long you used or played it and when, and other usage statistics;
  • Crash reports, which may be automatically generated when a game or application crashes and includes information about your system and the crash;
  • Information that facilitates a safer and more personalized experience, such as your display name or other user identification provided in connection with your application use or game play, saved preferences, game progress, and device identifiers or usage information for authentication and fraud prevention purposes;
  • The location of your device, such as may be derived from your device’s IP address.
Please note that if certain features on our website are provided by third parties, those third parties may also use automated means of data collection and may record information about your use of our website or others’ websites over time. These features are subject to those third parties’ privacy notices and policies.
 
Oct 26, 2017
7,195
#79
Collecting this data helps us to support developers make better games.
It also allows us to maintain our 12% revenue share offsetting some of our cost by selling the data to Facebook.
Sometimes, tricks like these are nessecary to obtain the ressources required to beat a behemoth like "Steam".
I assure you, you all will benefit by this in the long run.
this a /s post?
 
Oct 27, 2017
230
#80
It's important to mention that they have done this long before the EGS started. I found files from June 2018. At this time i installed the mod tools (UE) via the Epic Launcher for Bus Simulator 18.
 
OP
OP
Madjoki
Oct 25, 2017
2,679
#85
Forgive me if I'm wrong but this is done without even linking your Steam friends list, correct?

Opting in to this is one thing, Having it done behind the scenes is another thing entirely.
Correct to option is there:





Somehow they even refuse to show Steam's logo, which is weird.

But even though I don't have anything linked, it's already collecting this information.

And it's even plausibly good feature for many, but pre-emptively collecting is bit shady at least. (And keeping historical copies).

Obligatory "fuck Epic" mention, but that Steam Cloud part seems like a pretty big security vulnerability with Steam if it's making some sort of API call rather than reading files from local storage.
Just to be clear, it is reading from local synced copy of steam cloud.

Also, has this been tested on private Steam profiles?
Since it reads local files, it wouldn't even know if profile is private or not. (Using official API would deny on private profiles)
 
Oct 27, 2017
47
#87
Not to excuse it but this stuff is public by default in Steam, right? I bet that was part of their logic, but Steam does let you opt out of it being public. Anyone test it on public/non-public steam accts?

And even then since it looks like it's doing it before you connect to steam, eesh.

It's important to mention that they have done this long before the EGS started. I found files from June 2018. At this time i installed the mod tools (UE) via the Epic Launcher for Bus Simulator 18.
Yeah, it's the same launcher but updated--I just updated my epic launcher from when I was messing with UE. Hard to say when it was added then
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,310
#89
Not to excuse it but this stuff is public by default in Steam, right? I bet that was part of their logic, but Steam does let you opt out of it being public. Anyone test it on public/non-public steam accts?



Yeah, it's the same launcher but updated--I just updated my epic launcher from when I was messing with UE. Hard to say when it was added then
This stuff is private by default on Steam, and has been for I think over a year now.
 

Morrigan

Armoring
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
8,297
#91
lol not showing the Steam logo (but showing the Facebook one) is kinda petty.
But even though I don't have anything linked, it's already collecting this information.
Yeah this is very bad...
Since it reads local files, it wouldn't even know if profile is private or not. (Using official API would deny on private profiles)
Yeah I thought, perhaps it at least queries the API to find out if a profile is private or not before collecting this info, or perhaps there's one Steam file that contains such a flag that can tell them if it's private (and then they stop collecting if it is) but... yeah, I wasn't really expecting them to even respect this to begin with. xD
 
Oct 27, 2017
47
#96
lol not showing the Steam logo (but showing the Facebook one) is kinda petty.
I have no idea if it was developer's fault or Epic's fault, but when Axiom Verge launched all files with "steam" in the name were deleted from the game including the sound for steam vents--so the game crashed when you entered the area with them lol. Long since fixed though, just always thought that was funny.
 
Oct 27, 2017
155
#99
Is there any evidence that they're sending any of this data back to their servers, or is it hypothetically possible they're only using this data locally? It's pretty shady regardless to do this without disclosure, but it's a much bigger deal if it's the former.