Epic Games says its store doesn't mine users' Steam data without permission

EpicSpy

EpicSpy

The post's main complaint involved the Epic Games Store copying Steam's localconfig.vdf file, regularly accessing root certificates, and tracking its users' activity in several ways. The Epic Game Store is also scheduled to see improvements to its newsfeed and follow features, as well additional sorting and filtering methods for its game library.

It's sparked a number of privacy concerns around Epic's Store and just how much of your data is being shared with Epic. We also track page statistics.

A hot potato: Epic Games has denied claims that its store launcher accesses users' Steam data without their permission and sends it back to the company. The launcher makes an encrypted local copy of your localconfig.vdf Steam file.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said that this process was a rush job designed in "the early days of Fortnite", and that it's going to be fixed.

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".

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Handily, the Epic Games Store roadmap is published on Trello, which makes it a 'living document.' Each individual feature is given its own card, which the company then places into categories like "Recently Shipped Features" and "Mid Term (4-6 months)". "We think this is best because review bombing and other gaming-the-system is a real problem", Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney tweeted.

Regarding the exclusive deal with Ubisoft for The Division 2, Sweeney had this to say. He pointed to this article about Facebook data harvesting.

For Epic's part, it has not said that the entire file is uploaded, only that it parses out user IDs and uploads hashes of them, should users import Steam friends. It's actually my fault for pushing the launcher team to support it super quickly and then identifying that we had to change it.

A Valve spokesperson told Bleeping Computer that it is "looking into what information the Epic launcher collects from Steam". These include more generalized PC game store features, such as automated refunds and gifting, and specific ones, like an Arabic translation for the store and support for games that released in Korea.

"There's Steam offering Valve games, Origin offering EA games, Battle.net offering Activision and Bungie games, Epic Games offering games from many publishers". But it's clear that Epic might not have been as ready as it thought to release a game launcher that could compete with Steam.

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