[DSOG] PC gamers report that Epic launcher collects their Steam friends & play history, Epic Games responds - Page 2 - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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[DSOG] PC gamers report that Epic launcher collects their Steam friends & play history, Epic Games responds

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 09:22 AM
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I got an Epic game in a bundle with my 2080Ti. That launcher was set to open every time the computer started, so it got the ax right off. I don't even have Steam installed on that rig, so sync that. This game and a couple of EA games also in the bundle are the first stand alone (not bought thru Steam) games I've had in a while.

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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:19 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by GnarlyCharlie View Post
I got an Epic game in a bundle with my 2080Ti. That launcher was set to open every time the computer started, so it got the ax right off. I don't even have Steam installed on that rig, so sync that. This game and a couple of EA games also in the bundle are the first stand alone (not bought thru Steam) games I've had in a while.
Steam is also set to do that by default, many launcher/updater services are so they can keep your games updated which is totally optional. Easy enough to turn off.

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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:47 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by white owl View Post
Steam is also set to do that by default, many launcher/updater services are so they can keep your games updated which is totally optional. Easy enough to turn off.
I'm pretty sure EVERY single launcher and/or store/library is like that. Strange thing to hold against Epic, indeed.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 11:55 AM
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meh.
i've always kept ccleaner around to check autoruns on start up since i got lazy to drill into the registry.

been doing that since the first time i installed any adobe software . . .

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 02:29 PM
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 02:59 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Stalker View Post
I don't get it. People are going ballistic over the EGS, yet most of the other applications they use on a daily basis collect data. Steam probably collects way more than this. Might as well rip out your internet connection.
This is what happens when you get between gamers and their games. People would see it differently if Epic had been partnered with devs and funded them from the beginning. Currently it feels like Epic is taking away, not contributing.

Can't say I'm surprised, Tencent is China and China is working hard to become a technological leader. One of the things they need to do that is AI. AI is only as useful as the data they have to feed it. Beg, borrow, and steal is right up China's alley when it comes to acquiring data. Steam data isn't particularly valuable to me, but I don't have a psychology degree, nor am I a marketing specialist. Epic is claiming it's a simple oversight, that they get the steam friends list from the file, and they use the steam API to verify the owner. Even that explanation doesn't cut it because they should be using the steam API to get the data. One thing we do know, copying the file is clearly important to them. It's the first thing done after install.

Tim Sweeney from Epic:
Quote:
This is data Steam stores in localconfig.vdf. which contains friends and lots of other stuff. The Epic Games launcher never parses library or playtime data and never sends it to Epic. The launcher only sends hashed ids of friends to Epic, and only when you choose to import Steam friends.
https://www.reddit.com/r/PhoenixPoin...d_you/eik9tca/
Not sure I believe this. How are they separating the data they want from other data without sorting through it? It's 1 file, how are they figuring out which data they need without at least looking at the other data?

Someone working with a legal department asked if this violates the GDPR. (https://www.reddit.com/r/PhoenixPoin...d_you/ej3uiq0/)
Quote:
A quick text message to a guy from the aforementioned legal dept tells me that what Epic is doing could be challenged under the article 51e, that states that data can be stored exclusively for no longer than it is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; in that light, pre-storing data in the hope that the user will eventually give consent, is not allowed; article 51 also states that when speaking about "stored data", it's irrelevant where they are stored, as long as it's a storage that is accessible to the business: in that light, a local copy that the Epic Launcher can send to the main data center qualifies as storage by the business"
Suspect practices should be challenged, I hope it is. Meanwhile, I'll keep avoiding Epic's launcher.

Last edited by 1Kaz; 04-09-2019 at 06:32 PM.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 07:29 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by 1Kaz View Post
Someone working with a legal department asked if this violates the GDPR. (https://www.reddit.com/r/PhoenixPoin...d_you/ej3uiq0/)
Quote:
A quick text message to a guy from the aforementioned legal dept tells me that what Epic is doing could be challenged under the article 51e, that states that data can be stored exclusively for no longer than it is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; in that light, pre-storing data in the hope that the user will eventually give consent, is not allowed; article 51 also states that when speaking about "stored data", it's irrelevant where they are stored, as long as it's a storage that is accessible to the business: in that light, a local copy that the Epic Launcher can send to the main data center qualifies as storage by the business"
Suspect practices should be challenged, I hope it is. Meanwhile, I'll keep avoiding Epic's launcher.

That's a good point, and lots of companies are guilty of this, especially when you turn off telemetry (where there is an official option to do so), but they keep the associated services running and collecting data as usual, just in case one day you decide to turn it back on - or, ahem, it accidentally turns itself back on due to a bug in an update, they then get to collect data from a period when they shouldn't have been collecting any.

Anyway, related to what you were saying, Epic has seemingly been gathering data on the Steam userbase somehow, not only how many people have it installed, but among those, how frequently they use it.

Quote:
The most surprising number Sweeney shared, though, is that fully half of all Fortnite players on PC had never used Steam before.
https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/...c-games-store/


Quote:
In a recent interview on Russian podcast How Games Are Made (documented on Resetera), Epic’s director of publishing strategy and Steam Spy founder Sergey Galyonkin said that only half of all Fortnite players have Valve’s platform installed.

That’s still plenty of people, of course. The latest Fortnite player count reported that 200 million people have played Fortnite, and it’s worth remembering that the game is very popular on consoles and mobile. That suggests about 100 million Steam users, even with all those other platforms, which is by no means insignificant, even if those proportions are slightly surprising.

But the bad news for Valve goes deeper. Galyonkin goes on to say that of those 100 million or so Fortnite players who do use Steam, only around 40% are using it on a regular basis – meaning that only 20% of Fortnite players overall are regularly using Valve’s launcher.
https://www.pcgamesn.com/steam-users-fortnite


Here's the thing though, Steam set people's profile information to private by default back in April of last year, so what kind / how recent of a dataset does Epic have and how did they get it?

https://www.pcmag.com/news/360364/st...t-more-private


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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 09:29 AM
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Valve should encrypt the file. It's a security vulnerability that it's not encrypted. Granted it's probably not something they thought needed to be encrypted on the user end. Epic is definitely doing some shady stuff. Sadly, even if Valve encrypts the file, Epic can still scan it regularly to see if it's been modified and get an idea of how often people are using steam.
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 02:33 PM
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:33 AM
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Haha, everyone else does it you stupid people concerned about privacy
It's thinking like that that got us here in the first place. People who complain about Epic also know and most likely complain about other services. Two wrongs don't make a right. The best we can do is be vocal to these companies that we don't like to have our data mined. I really don't understand all the Epic games apologists and defenders. They are a new player that is employing dirty tactics to get a foothold on the market. People have the right to complain even if "haha other companies do it ya idjut"

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