Valve responds to Epic Games allegedly “Stealing steam user data” and copying a Steam user data file called localconfig.vdf.
In a statement sent to Bleeping Computer today, Valve’s Doug Lombardi said that the company is “looking into what information the Epic launcher collects from Steam.” It sounds like Valve isn’t too pleased about the whole thing.
“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),” wrote Lombardi. “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.”
Daniel Vogel, Epic’s VP of engineering, said on Reddit “Epic is controlled by Tim Sweeney. We have lots of external shareholders, none of whom have access to customer data.”
Valve says that this information is totally private and should not be accessed by ANYONE ELSE but Steam itself.
This could massively change how Steam will interact with users in the future. We could be seeing changes in interface, functionality, feedback, and much more.
Epic has so far insisted that it only actually reads your friends list and sends hashed IDs after you’ve given it permission to do so. The Reddit post shows a different case. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.