Microsoft to pay $20 million Charge for violating Child Privacy

Microsoft to pay $20 million Charge for violating Child Privacy | The Enterprise World

Microsoft has agreed to a $20 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in response to allegations that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). According to a press release, the corporation kept some personal information about children’s accounts for far too long.

The Proposed Order

As part of a proposed order submitted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on behalf of the FTC, Microsoft will also be required to make some modifications. These adjustments include informing parents that a separate child account offers more privacy protections, requiring parental permission for child accounts created before 2021, requiring systems to delete data about children in order to obtain parental consent for a child’s account, and informing other publishers when it “discloses personal information from children that the user is a child,” according to the press release.

This is only the most recent FTC settlement with a video game developer over alleged COPPA breaches. Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite, and the FTC negotiated a $520 million settlement in December 2022, $275 million of which was related to COPPA violations. In the previous month, Epic unveiled kid-friendly accounts for Fall Guys, Rocket League, and Fortnite.

What Experts say?

The FTC stated on Monday that up until the end of 2021, when a user created a Microsoft account, the business requested specific personal data before requesting input from a parent of a player who is under 13 years old. However, the FTC asserts that Microsoft violated COPPA by keeping that personal information “sometimes for years” after the parent abandoned the register process.

Microsoft’s Dave McCarthy, CVP of Xbox Player Services, stated in an Xbox blog post, “Unfortunately, we did not meet customer expectations and are committed to complying with the order to continue improving upon our safety measures.” We will continue to be unwavering in our commitment to safety, privacy, and security because we think we can and should do more.

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