Fortnite Developer Fined Millions for Violating Children’s Privacy

Fortnite Developer Fined Millions for Violating Children's Privacy

( – The makers of Fortnite have faced various lawsuits over the years because of their use of dance moves made popular by other people. The company has now lost a lawsuit of a different kind — and parents should be aware.

On December 19, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it reached an agreement with Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Samuel Levine, the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection director, accused the company of putting “children and teens at risk through its lax privacy practices.” Epic Games must now create strong privacy settings “that voice and text communications are turned off by default.”

The FTC ordered Epic Games to pay a $275 million penalty for violating the privacy rule.

The federal agency also secured a $245 million refund for customers after finding the company used tricks to dupe players into making accidental purchases. The FTC described it as “dark patterns and billing practices.”

In both cases, the amounts are the largest of their kind. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta stated that collecting children’s personal information without parental permission isn’t going to be tolerated.

The FTC has a page to answer questions about refunds and how to get one here.

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