$20 million. This is the sum that Microsoft will have to pay to put an end to lawsuits from the US Consumer Protection Agency (FTC) for having collected personal data from minors without parental consent.
The FTC indicates in a press release published on Monday that it accuses Microsoft of having, between 2015 and 2020, collected the personal data of children and adolescents under the age of 13, who registered on the online gaming platform of Xbox console, without informing their parents, and keeping them. To create an account, the user must provide first and last name, email address, and date of birth.
Microsoft “broke the law” on the protection of the privacy of children online, COPPA, details the FTC. “The ruling we’re proposing makes it easier for parents to protect their children’s data privacy on Xbox and limits the information Microsoft can collect and maintain about minors,” said Samuel Levine, director of the Office of Consumer Protection. from the FTC, and quoted in the press release.
“Strengthening the protection of children’s privacy”
“This action should also make it very clear that avatars, biometric data and children’s health information are not exempt” from the Minors Privacy Act. The decision must be approved by a federal court before it can take effect.
“Microsoft will have to take several measures to strengthen the protection of the privacy of children using its Xbox system,” the FTC said in its press release.
Under COPPA, online services and websites directed to children under 13 are required to inform parents of the personal information they collect and to obtain parental consent.
A Microsoft spokesperson, interviewed by AFP, said that Xbox “is committed to complying with the decision” of the FTC and that it will develop a new identification system for young audiences.
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