Fortnite Maker Epic Games Paying Record $520 Million FTC Fines Over Children’s Online Privacy, Billing Practices
19.12.2022 - 20:15
Epic Games has agreed to pay a total of $520 million in two settlements with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations the Fortnite creator violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and that it used design tricks to dupe millions of players into making unintentional purchases.
As part of a proposed federal court order filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC, Epic will pay a $275 million for violating the privacy reg — the largest penalty ever obtained for violating an FTC rule, the agency said. Epic must also adopt stronger privacy default settings for children and teens.
Separately, the game maker will pay $245 million under a proposed administrative order to refund consumers for its so called “dark patterns” billing practices. The FTC called this the largest refund amount in a gaming case, and its largest administrative order in history.
“As our complaints note, Epic used privacy-invasive default settings and deceptive interfaces that tricked Fortnite users, including teenagers and children,” said FTC Chair Lina Khan. “Protecting the public, and especially children, from online privacy invasions and dark patterns is a top priority for the Commission, and these enforcement actions make clear to businesses that the FTC is cracking down on these unlawful practices.”
“The Justice Department takes very seriously its mission to protect consumers’ data privacy rights,” added Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “This proposed order sends a message to all online providers that collecting children’s personal information without parental consent will not be tolerated.”
The FTC alleged Epic violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (called COPPA) by collecting personal
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