Microsoft has agreed to pay $20 million to settle charges from the Federal Trade Commission that it illegally collected personal information from children without their parents’ consent.
The FTC alleged that Microsoft violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting data from children under the age of 13 during the account creation process for its Xbox gaming system. The company also allegedly disclosed this information to third parties, such as game publishers, without parental consent.
COPPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of children under the age of 13 online. The law requires websites and online services that collect personal information from children to obtain parental consent before doing so.
Under the terms of the settlement, Microsoft will pay $20 million to the FTC. The company will also be required to implement new privacy measures for its Xbox gaming system. These measures will include:
- Obtaining parental consent before collecting personal information from children under the age of 13.
- Giving parents the ability to review and delete their children’s personal information.
- Prohibiting the disclosure of children’s personal information to third parties without parental consent.
“Microsoft’s failure to obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from children was a clear violation of COPPA,” said FTC Chairman Lina Khan. “This settlement will ensure that Microsoft takes steps to protect the privacy of children on its gaming platform.”
The settlement is the latest in a series of actions taken by the FTC to protect the privacy of children online. In recent years, the FTC has brought enforcement actions against a number of companies for violating COPPA, including YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.
The FTC’s actions are a reminder that parents need to be vigilant about their children’s online privacy. Parents should be aware of the privacy policies of the websites and online services that their children use. They should also talk to their children about the importance of protecting their personal information online.