Epic Games Responds to Allegations of Tracking Steam Data With Epic Games Launcher

Published: March 14, 2019 8:21 PM /


epic games

Epic Games' launcher has been the product of much scrutiny as of late. The exclusivity of certain games such as Metro Exodus and now Phoenix Point caused some outcry from fans. Meanwhile, there have been some concerns over account security. One recent post on Resetera pertains to the latter and appears to show that the Epic Games Launcher tracks information from your Steam account.

Madjoki has done some cyber-sleuthing and finds that upon starting your Epic Games Launcher, it "searches for Steam install and proceeds to get a list of files in your Steam cloud." Within the files, there are essentially lists of your friends and games that you've played when you dig deep enough, all within your Epic Games Launcher files. You can follow the process yourself by going to the link above.

To confirm this, one of our writers looked into it and found that his Steam ID listed at the end of files of a folder.

Daniel Vogel, VP of Engineering at Epic Games, responded to a Reddit thread outlining this issue. He says that the Launcher uses a tracking pixel and it sends a regular hardware survey per their privacy policy. He went on:

The launcher scans your active processes to prevent updating games that are currently running. This information is not sent to Epic.

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.

This might shed some light on the issue, but the program is still tracking user data without the user's knowledge. This raises GDPR concerns among other things. Another thing worth a mention is that Steam Spy creator Sergey Galyonkin had a large hand in creating the Epic Games Launcher. Steam Spy collects data from the online storefront including active users, playtimes, and current trending games.

Epic might explain more on this in the future, so, for now, stay tuned for more from TechRaptor.

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| Staff Writer

Austin cut his teeth writing various  fan-fiction stories on the RuneScape forums when he was in elementary school. Later on, he developed a deep love for… More about Austin