Epic Games has reached a $520 million settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations that the Fortnite creator violated online privacy laws for children and tricked users into making unintended purchases in the video game.
To that end, the company will pay a record $275 million monetary penalty for breaching the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting the personal information of Fortnite players under the age of 13 without seeking permission from their parents.
It will also pay $245 million to reimburse customers who were deceived by its dark pattern tricks to make accidental purchases as well as for allowing children to rack up unauthorized charges through in-game content purchases without requiring any parental or card holder action or consent.
“Epic Games possessed actual knowledge that it collected personal information from children, including their names, email addresses, and identifiers used to keep track of players’ progress, purchases, settings, and friends lists,” the Justice Department said.
“Epic Games nonetheless failed to notify parents that it was collecting children’s personal information and to obtain verifiable parental consent for that collection, as required by the COPPA Rule.”
images from Hacker News