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Epic Games to pay $520 million fine in settlement with FTC over violations of Children's Online Privacy Protection Act

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The US Federal Trade Commission has hit Fortnite maker Epic Games with a record-breaking penalty of $520m (£427m)…




The US Federal Trade Commission has hit Fortnite maker Epic Games with a record-breaking penalty of $520m (£427m) over allegations it previously employed "lax privacy practices" for voice and text chat, and used design tricks to "dupe millions of players" into unintentional purchases.


The eye-opening judgment includes the largest-ever settlement obtained by the FTC regarding the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, as Fortnite allowed in-game chat and user data collection by default.

Fortnite holds a "Teen" rating by the US ratings board ESRB, but the FTC has argued Epic Games knew many of its users were likely under 13 years of age and had not obtained their parents' consent.

The remainder of the fine relates to a separate decision by the FTC that Fortnite included "illegal dark patterns" to "trick players into making unwanted purchases and let children rack up unauthorised charges without any parental involvement".



$275 million will be paid to the US Treasury.

$245 million will be returned to consumers.


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1 minute ago, DarkStar189 said:

$245 million returned to consumers. How is that going to work?  Anybody that made a purchase between certain dates? 





The FTC plans to make refunds available to:

  • Parents whose children made an unauthorized credit card purchase in the Epic Games Store between January 2017 and November 2018
  • Fortnite players who were charged in-game currency (V-Bucks) for unwanted in-game items (such as cosmetics, llamas, or battle passes) between January 2017 and September 2022
  • Fortnite players whose accounts were locked between January 2017 and September 2022 after disputing unauthorized charges with their credit card companies.


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