Epic Games to Pay $520 Million in Relief Funds Following FTC Ruling on COPPA Violations

Epic Games

A recent agreement between Epic Games and the FTC has resulted in the video game company paying a total of $520 million in relief funds over alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (or COPPA for short). 

The allegations stem from what are known as “dark patterns,” or design techniques that result in making players, including children, make unintentional purchases. These dark patterns were used in Fortnite and include methods such as “privacy-invasive default settings” and “deceptive interfaces.” The game would even allow children to purchase V-Bucks without the need for consent or intervention from a parent.

FTC Chair Lina M. Khan commented on these practices, stating “Protecting the public, and especially children, from online privacy invasions and dark patterns is a top priority for the Commission, and these enforcement actions make clear to businesses that the FTC is cracking down on these unlawful practices.”

Part of the funds that the FTC is charging in the agreement will be used to provide refunds to customers, with the amount totaling $245 million. They will also prohibit Epic from charging customers using dark patterns in the future. 

Source: FTC

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