Fortnite Video Game Maker Epic Games to Pay More Than Half a Billion Dollars over FTC Allegations of Privacy Violations and Unwanted Charges
Epic will pay a $275 million penalty for violating children’s privacy law, change default privacy settings, and pay $245 million in refunds for tricking users into making unwanted charges
The Federal Trade Commission has secured agreements requiring Epic Games, Inc., creator of the popular video game Fortnite, to pay a total of $520 million in relief over allegations the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and deployed design tricks, known as dark patterns, to dupe millions of players into making unintentional purchases.
The FTC’s action against Epic involves two separate record-breaking settlements. 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 monetary penalty for violating the COPPA Rule—the largest penalty ever obtained for violating an FTC rule. Additionally, in a first-of-its-kind provision, Epic will be required to adopt strong privacy default settings for children and teens, ensuring that voice and text communications are turned off by default. Under a separate proposed administrative order, Epic will pay $245 million to refund consumers for its dark patterns and billing practices, which is the FTC’s largest refund amount in a gaming case, and its largest administrative order in history. [...]