ZATAZ » Fortnite publisher fined 520 million dollars

Gaming giant Epic Games will pay $520 million to settle two complaints related to children’s privacy and the use of “dark models” by its Fortnite business.

The game company behind the wildly popular game Fortnite broke the law in two main ways, a court has confirmed. By collecting information about children without first obtaining verifiable parental consent. By default, it enables text and voice communication for users. This exposed children to violence, harassment and other traumatic events. I explained the events to you in the ZATAZ Twitch Broadcast [ICI chaque soir 19h/20h – rediffusion sur Youtube]

In addition, until 2018, children could make purchases without the consent of the credit card holder. It should be noted that Epic Games blocked the accounts of customers who objected to unauthorized payments. Are they hacked? Did the child of the family serve? Epic Games didn’t want to know anything.

520 million fine

$275 million fine for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
$245 million to compensate consumers for money lost due to the company’s apparently illegal billing practices.

The court order will also prevent Fortnite from allowing voice and text communication for children unless parents or teen users have given consent. All child data must be deleted and Epic Games must create a comprehensive privacy program to address the issues raised in the complaint.

The end of Fortnite?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the US federal agency behind the complaint (the same agency that rejected Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard), therefore blames deceptive practices. Epic Games violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting personal information from minors under the age of 13 without adult consent, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Fortnite has introduced Cabined Accounts, a new type of Epic account that offers a tailored, safe and inclusive experience for young players, according to an agreement with the FTC. Players under the age of 13 or their country’s digital age of consent can play Fortnite without parental consent, but in a customized environment where certain features such as chat and purchases are disabled.

In September, high default privacy settings were installed for players under the age of 18. Chat defaults to “Nobody”, profile details are hidden by default, parties default to “Invite Only” and personalized recommendations are disabled by default. Players under 16 also have an adult language filter enabled by default for text chat.

Class action in Canada

It should be noted that three families in Canada avoided the chance to blame Epic Games for the same details. In July 2022, at the first hearing in local court in British Columbia (Johnston v. Epic Games Inc et al, SCBC No. VLC-SS-220088), medical reports were presented about the addiction of one of the children. to the judge. One of the children played the game for more than 6,000 hours. Epic Games reached a “settlement” with their family. ” Epic Games has reached a settlement following a Canadian class action lawsuit over the purchase of loot boxes in Fortnite and Rocket League. can we read it on the publisher’s page for the occasion: Canadian families have until January 11, 2023 to submit their email address and claim … $25 CAD (about twenty euros). Epic Games goes through Velvet payments (no. 500-06-001132-212), a Montreal company dedicated to Class Action.

The settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and does not constitute an admission of liability, wrongdoing or guilt by any of the defendants. Epic Games will pay C$2,750,000 to end the lawsuit. A compensation fund has been established to compensate class members for this class action.

A small detail does not answer the fact that these families let their children play for hundreds of hours without saying a word!

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