Epic Games, the gaming giant behind the hugely popular Fortnite game, will pay the FTC hundreds of millions of dollars to settle two blockbuster allegations. The allegations relate to children’s privacy and the company’s use of “dark patterns,” explained as shady billing practices. The payments are for reportedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the billing practices violations.
Epic Games reportedly broke the COPPA law in two different ways, including collecting data from children without obtaining parents’ consent, and enabling live on-by-default text and voice communications for users, including its young players. This reportedly exposed children to cyber-bullying, harassment, and other traumatizing incidents, the FTC says. Additionally, when parents asked the firm to delete children’s data, the process to do so was unreasonable or the request was not honored.