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  • By The Financial District

Fortnite Maker Epic Games To Pay $520-M Fine For Violating Kids' Privacy

"Fortnite" creator Epic Games will pay $520 million to settle allegations that it illegally collected children's personal information and tricked people into making purchases, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the company said, Diane Bartz reported for Reuters.


Photo Insert: Epic Games will pay a record penalty of $275 million for violating the children's privacy law and will adopt strong default privacy settings for young people and will also pay $245 million to refund consumers duped by so-called "dark patterns" into making purchases they did not intend to make.



It will pay a record penalty of $275 million for violating the children's privacy law and will adopt strong default privacy settings for young people. Epic Games will also pay $245 million to refund consumers duped by so-called "dark patterns" into making purchases they did not intend to make, the FTC said.


"Epic used privacy-invasive default settings and deceptive interfaces that tricked Fortnite users, including teenagers and children," FTC Chairperson Lina Khan stressed.



The announcement comes as the agency has taken a more muscular role in policing the gaming industry, announcing last week a complaint against Microsoft over its $69 billion bid to acquire Activision.


To protect children, Epic said it had created features like easier-to-access parental controls and a PIN requirement to allow parents to authorize purchases, and a daily spending limit for kids under 13.


All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The FTC said that Epic employees had expressed concern about the company's default settings in place for children, saying that people should be required to opt-in for voice chat.


The FTC said that voice and text chat must be turned off by default. Epic said in a statement on Monday that it had eliminated pay-to-win and pay-to-progress mechanics when two players compete against each other and that it had eliminated random item loot boxes in 2019. It also said that it was putting into place an explicit yes/no choice to save payment information.



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