Epic Games settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday in which the games developer will pay $520 million for violating children’s privacy and tricking consumers into making purchases on Fortnite.
Arielle Garcia, chief privacy officer, UM:
This fine is the latest in a slew of enforcement actions related to privacy and online safety of children and teens. A similarly large $405 million penalty issued to Instagram by the Irish Data Protection Commission in September also emphasized the importance of age-appropriate experience design and inclusive privacy-by-default.
While we have seen several changes by platforms intended to bridge these gaps and expand protections for teens, this fine underscores the growing sentiment from lawmakers and regulators that COPPA’s “child-directed” and “actual knowledge” scope is too narrow to sufficiently protect younger users.
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