(LibertySociety.com) – Epic Games is an entertainment company that has been developing online games since its foundation in 1991. One of the company’s most popular offerings, Fortnite, hit the scene under early access in the summer of 2017, quickly growing in popularity among youths. But the Battle Royale game isn’t without its share of problems, as evidenced by a recent court case.
On December 19, Epic Games settled a lawsuit against the company by agreeing to pay out $520 million. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged the game maker not only collected personal information from users under 13 without parental consent and instituted potentially dangerous default privacy settings for kids, but also fooled players into making purchases with a limited remedy for refunds.
Epic Games creator of the video game Fortnite, to pay a total of $520 million over FTC allegations Epic violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and deployed dark patterns to dupe millions of players into making unintentional purchases: https://t.co/yHaQx8VXlu
— FTC (@FTC) December 19, 2022
The game developer will have to pay $275 million in penalties for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The remaining $245 million will be given back to the players it’s accused of tricking into buying in-game items and making it nearly impossible to get their money back. The FTC claimed Epic Games knew it was collecting data from minors, “ignored” user complaints they were being wrongfully charged for purchases, and put kids “at risk,” according to the agency’s news release.
Epic Games said they agreed to settle the case because they want to get back to making the users happy while providing them better protection while online. The FTC reported that Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta hopes the settlement sent a strong message to those in the industry.
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