Epic Games, the company behind online gaming phenomenon Fortnite, is at the centre of a privacy storm after players noticed that it was gathering data from their Steam accounts and storing it on their computers without permission.

Fortnite has been a gaming sensation. The game, which pits players against each other in an online world, is downloadable directly from Epic, which launched its own online Epic Games Store in December.

Last week, players found it gathering information about their accounts on rival online gaming service Steam, and Reddit was up in arms.

Reddit user notte_m_portent alerted Fortnite users to alleged suspicious activity in the Epic Game Launcher, which controls the Fortnite software. They claimed that it was watching other processes on the machine, reading root certificates, and storing hardware information in the registry, among other things.

Crayten, another Reddit user, also claimed to have found EGL creating an encrypted copy of the user’s ocalconfig.vdf file, which contains all friends on Steam and their name histories.

Epic VP of engineering Dan Vogel explained to concerned Redditors that tracking JavaScript feeds information to the company’s Support-a-Creator program, enabling it to pay creators. Epic describes these as “active video makers, streamers, storytellers, artists, cosplayers, musicians, and community builders” supporting its products.