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

Oct 27, 2017
240
Saving this data is not allowed if they do not really use them. They have to delete them. The GDPR is very clear about this. There was no point to collect the data beforehand.

1. Get the data (they collected more data than needed)
2. Use the data (only for the friendlist import)
3. Delete the data (delete the data as soon as the friendlist is updated)
 
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Morrigan

Armoring
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
8,315
Didn't we have this thread earlier and it was locked because it was just a amateur Reddit sleuth.
There was one and it was locked. Not sure if locking this is the right choice though. Seems like a perfectly relevant discussion to be having over a polarizing storefront.
It was locked because it was just the one guy on Reddit who even admitted he didn't know what he was talking about or what he was looking for. The lock post explicitly said that if this could be independently verified, we could have a new thread, and that's what happened, so here we are.
 
Dec 30, 2018
627
Just want to add this in here for anyone using EGS from the EU, also a look at their privacy policy.

https://www.reddit.com/r/pcgaming/comments/a3zkpv/the_epic_games_store_and_gdpr_compatibility/

Some quotes...

“We store personal information for as long as we reasonably need it to fulfill the purposes for which it was collected We may share, or provide you with opportunities to share, information about you with other users of our websites, games, game engines, and applications as described in this policy

We may share personal information we collect within our family of companies. We also will share information with service providers that perform services on our behalf and under our instructions

We also may share certain limited information, such as device identifiers, with advertisers and other marketing partners for purposes of gauging the effectiveness of advertising and other marketing strategies

As part of our international operations, we may transfer information about you to any jurisdiction where we do business...

The laws in those jurisdictions may not provide the same level of data protection compared to the laws in your country.”

“If you are located in the EU or the Epic entities located in the EU process your personal information in the EU, then you have the right to restrict or object to our processing of your personal information. The right to restrict processing arises only in limited circumstances, for example, if you think we are processing inaccurate information. In addition, if we are required to restrict processing but the requirement is temporary, we may not be permanently obligated to adhere to your request.”

Also someone in the Reddit thread who basically explains they are in breach of EU law.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,134
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.
I would like to know whether the data is used locally or sent online.
Sergey said that mos of their users don't even have Steam installed. They can know that only if they collect some kind of data.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,372
There was one and it was locked. Not sure if locking this is the right choice though. Seems like a perfectly relevant discussion to be having over a polarizing storefront.
That was my thread. It was only locked because the claims weren't verified (it was an amateur), and there were other things mixed in which were less important.

This is clear, important, and verified by people who know what they are doing. It won't be locked.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,023
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).
I see. Gathering data from users without consent is completely inexcusable, not to mention the fact that they're quite literally just gathering data from Steam in order to "compete" with them. This is shameful.

I was pretty dead set against ever using the EGS due to their exclusivity practices, but this seals the deal.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,023
This seems like a pile of nothing to me. Oh no my steam friends list and time played of games. It’s nothing.
You don't see an issue with a direct competitor of Steam gathering data from Steam in order to build their store? And doing so without the consent of the user?

I mean.....wow. Just wow.
 
Oct 25, 2017
222
Yeah, so when GDPR forced Steam to default user profiles to private and restrict their public API, Sergey's SteamSpy data accuracy suffered. This basically circumvents your Steam privacy settings and lets him get at that data a different way.

Pretty scummy.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,757
I have Process Explorer, but I have no idea where this event viewer is. Madjoki can you give us some insight on this? The Properties dialog for the process doesn't show anything like this, nor does the Find Handle or DLL command.
 
Oct 27, 2017
47
What reason would launcher needed to collect those data locally? Those are steam ID/game profiles and are worthless offline.
Potentially for loading saves (cross platform save is always super cool, though cross save between 2 different PC platforms is a lot less exciting), suggesting friends or something (though that's probably just the steam connect thing). I mean even for market research actually looking at save files instead of installed games seems pretty pointless, I can only imagine they'd be looked at for...save-related things.
 
OP
OP
Madjoki
Oct 25, 2017
2,711
What if you are developer working on a game which will be on Steam and also have Epic Launcher installed in that same system?

Would Epic capture that data?
Good question actually.

Well, I have my unreleased "game" on Steam and file includes that too. But it doesn't actually include data about game itself.
Interestingly this does include "BadgeData" which I assume'd would refer to Steam Badge, but my "game" doesn't even have one or is eligible for one.

Didn't we have this thread earlier and it was locked because it was just a amateur Reddit sleuth.
Yes. That's why I set to replicate results using own my own research and even included instructions how you can replicate results on your own PC.
And that's why I wrote this in OP too.

Damn

Do you have to link your steam account to epic in order for this to happen?
Nope. (And if it did, it would be definitely less shady).
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,040
And yet there will still be people on this site pretending like "installing multiple launchers is to hard" is the main complaint against the epic store.......
 
Jan 31, 2018
1,536
You don't see an issue with a direct competitor of Steam gathering data from Steam in order to build their store? And doing so without the consent of the user?

I mean.....wow. Just wow.
Pretty hyperbolic it’s a friends list and games played. Please tell me how that could give them an edge over steam I’m dying to know.

Since you’re not bothered by being spied on, guess it’s all good then.

Jesus, c’mon. This is not okay.
Haha do you use the internet at all? Congrats you’re being spied on. It’s nothing really. Google tracks everything, Facebook, iPhones, yahoo, if you use any free service at all you’re being spied on. Who cares. It’s not like it’s a keylogger or spreading your account info places.

Just because you are OK with having your personal data pillaged without your consent doesn't mean everyone else is.
Feel free to reread my post where i specifically said “seems like like it TO ME” as in me not you. That’s literally what that means.
 
Apr 5, 2018
219
This seems like a pile of nothing to me. Oh no my steam friends list and time played of games. It’s nothing.
While it may seem like nothing it sets goal posts that shouldn't be there at all. They can slowly move those goal posts and collect more and more data once this is "normal".
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,023
Pretty hyperbolic it’s a friends list and games played. Please tell me how that could give them an edge over steam I’m dying to know.
...Are you serious? Do you not have any concept of how corporations use metrics and data? Why do you think they would be doing it if it didn't benefit them?

Please tell me I'm dying to know.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,779
Pretty hyperbolic it’s a friends list and games played. Please tell me how that could give them an edge over steam I’m dying to know.
It's just a little GDPR violation, nbd.

It gives them an edge over steam because metrics is everything. They can target games that sell a lot on steam and try to entice their developers to come over. There is a reason why Sergey spent years building SteamSpy (and turned out to be working for Epic all along). There is a reason why companies try to hide this data. It's a huge competitive advantage. Business metrics in general is a big deal to literally every business. It's ok if you can't comprehend why though, but it would be better if you stayed out of the thread if you can't even comprehend the core premise.
 
Oct 27, 2017
160
What reason would launcher needed to collect those data locally? Those are steam ID/game profiles and are worthless offline.
I haven't put much thought into it, but off the top of my head, seems like there are things you could do. For example, if the client included a local index of known title IDs mapped to genres or something, the client could use that locally to tune recommendations, or the UI in other ways. ("Looks like this person likes RPGs, let's rank those higher in the store page.")

(Note that I'm not trying to minimize the potential problems here. It won't surprise me if they're doing something less innocent than that.)