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Valve isn't happy about Epic's alleged Steam data mining

By onetheycallEric · 11 replies
Mar 17, 2019 at 9:42 AM
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  1. Recently we learned that the Epic Games launcher is ostensibly collecting user data by enumerating processes on a local machine, accessing DLLs and root certificates, and scraping Steam user data from the localconfig.vdf file, all without the express consent of users.

    For their part, Epic responded in kind by saying that a lot of this was due to a clunky, rushed design in "the early days of Fortnite," and that it will be fixed. Additionally, Epic's VP of engineering, Daniel Vogel, and Epic's CEO, Tim Sweeney, attempted to further justify the behavior of the Epic Games launcher and assuage concerned users. However, in a statement to Bleeping Computer, Valve's Doug Lombardi didn't seem to buy it.

    We are looking into what information the Epic launcher collects from Steam.

    The Steam Client locally saves data such as the list of games you own, your friends list and saved login tokens (similar to information stored in web browser cookies). This is private user data, stored on the user's home machine and is not intended to be used by other programs or uploaded to any 3rd party service.

    Interested users can find localconfig.vdf and other Steam configuration files in their Steam Client’s installation directory and open them in a text editor to see what data is contained in these files. They can also view all data related to their Steam account at: https://help.steampowered.com/en/accountdata.

    However, Epic believes this to be open to refutation.

    We've responded to in full here: https://www.reddit.com/r/PhoenixPoint/comments/b0rxdq/epic_game_store_spyware_tracking_and_you/eijlbge/

    Specifically, on the Steam stuff, this is the relevant piece: "We only import your Steam friends with your explicit permission. The launcher makes an encrypted local copy of your localconfig.vdf Steam file. However information from this file is only sent to Epic if you choose to import your Steam friends, and then only hashed ids of your friends are sent and no other information from the file."

    Valve would rather Epic not touch the localconfig.vdf file at all, and instead use the Steam API -- a move Epic has said they'd prefer not to make, because of their general hesitation regarding APIs and third party code. It will be interesting to see what further action Valve might take and if Epic is set to take some widespread heat or bad press from this.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,510   +2,210

    So basically Epic wants to spy on Steam but doesn't want to return the favor. Sounds about right.
     
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,872   +3,311

    Sounds like these two just can't play together ..... nothing worse that a lover scorned!
     
    JaredTheDragon likes this.
  4. Plaer1

    Plaer1 TS Rookie

    Wouldn't it be nice if "journalists" cited their sources.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019 at 11:54 AM
    mbrowne5061 and JaredTheDragon like this.
  5. Tantor

    Tantor TS Rookie Posts: 25   +25

    LOL - Epic and Steam never were lovers. Epic has lots of new money and a very aggressive management. They are out for blood. I noticed that they scored another exclusive with the Xcom remake Phoenix Point. It should be interesting.

    It's like the music industry. Each publisher has their exclusive artists.
     
  6. onetheycallEric

    onetheycallEric TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 26   +10

    Sources are literally there.
     
    Drew Valadez, Godel and Evernessince like this.
  7. jaryn211

    jaryn211 TS Enthusiast

    Its retarded. I didnt move over to pc so I could deal with this bullshit again and no its not just an easy download. Epic's launcher is garbage and has ****ing awful security.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 2:14 AM
  8. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,381   +294

    Meanwhile, epic says valve's 30% cut is way too much.
     
  9. Jon Tseng

    Jon Tseng TS Booster Posts: 50   +36

    Wouldn't it be nice if "commentators" learned how to move their pointer over a link and press the left mouse button.
     
  10. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Maniac Posts: 323   +200

    It's simple, don't install Epic Games Launcher. I picked up The Division 2 and I bought it on Uplay. I hate Uplay, but it's better than the EGL.
     
    onetheycallEric likes this.
  11. onetheycallEric

    onetheycallEric TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 26   +10

    Same here. I'm not a fan of UPlay either, but I'm already having to use it for The Division and the Assasin's Creed games.
     
  12. indiferenc

    indiferenc TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +44

    Fuq epic
     
    erickmendes likes this.

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