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

Oct 25, 2017
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CEO possibly behind controversial data collection behavior
Epic Games CEO and Founder Tim Sweeney also chimed in to answer some of the gamers' questions on Reddit, stating that "Since this issue came to the forefront we're going to fix it."

Sweeney said that the current way of collecting client Steam info from users' computers is actually his fault:

"You guys are right that we ought to only access the localconfig.vdf file after the user chooses to import Steam friends. The current implementation is a remnant left over from our rush to implement social features in the early days of Fortnite. It's actually my fault for pushing the launcher team to support it super quickly and then identifying that we had to change it. Since this issue came to the forefront we're going to fix it.
We don't use the Steam API because we work to minimize the number of third-party libraries we include in our products due to security and privacy concerns (not from Valve specifically, but see e.g. https://www.macrumors.com/2019/02/22/ios-apps-sending-private-data-to-facebook/ for the general concern of APIs collecting more data than expected)
https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/ne...-to-fix-game-launcher-after-privacy-concerns/

Still doesn't explain why their data scarping throws such wide net and they decided to ignore Steam API because secure concerns, but totally trust Steam API to be secure? Okay?
 
Oct 25, 2017
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I wouldn't trust anything Sweeney says. Dude has proven countless times he is a fucking liar.
Why he would on record lie that they made deliberate choice not to utilize Steam API and go digging around Steam data with their own code? That would be absolutely stupid lie to make and...well.. doing it like they did is also immensely stupid.

In that article Valve also condemns this action taken by Epic and says no 3rd party software has any right to access that data like Epic does.

Edit: I wish some more better known gaming outlets covered this, because holy shit...
 
Oct 25, 2017
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https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/ne...-to-fix-game-launcher-after-privacy-concerns/

Still doesn't explain why their data scarping throws such wide net and they decided to ignore Steam API because secure concerns, but totally trust Steam API to be secure? Okay?
I'm more concerned about the fact that as far as I'm aware, they didn't suffer any repercussions for knowingly doing this, and a vast majority of the people I'm seeing discussing this are blaming Valve for putting that data there in the first place.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Why he would on record lie that they made deliberate choice not to utilize Steam API and go digging around Steam data with their own code? That would be absolutely stupid lie to make and...well.. doing it like they did is also immensely stupid.

In that article Valve also condemns this action taken by Epic and says no 3rd party software has any right to access that data like Epic does.

Edit: I wish some more better known gaming outlets covered this, because holy shit...
Well, Sweeney has proven he will do anything to get what he wants. Of course, he could also be telling the truth and it was all an accident on his part.

Like you said, wish this was covered more. I really want to know if this was done with the intent of spying EGS users.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,687
FIN
I'm more concerned about the fact that as far as I'm aware, they didn't suffer any repercussions for knowingly doing this, and a vast majority of the people I'm seeing discussing this are blaming Valve for putting that data there in the first place.
I think that because major outlets literally refuse to cover any of this it has resulted e.g. EU body not to learn about this. What kind data EGS is scraping without proper notification or approval of user could be GDPR violation by itself, especially now that Valve has straight said that they view user data within their client installation to be private user data.

Could Valve get into some hot water too? Maybe, but same time we could soon see Valve starting to ecrypt a lots of data Steam handles because of what Epic has been doing.