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Microsoft Has Been Fined $20 Million By The FTC

Microsoft has found itself in further trouble with the FTC.
Microsoft Has Been Fined $20 Million By The FTC

Microsoft has agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission $20 million for illegally collecting personal information from children through Xbox, according to an FTC statement.

The FTC statement reads:

"Our proposed order makes it easier for parents to protect their children's privacy on Xbox, and limits what information Microsoft can collect and retain about kids. This action should also make it abundantly clear that kids' avatars, biometric data, and health information are not exempt from COPPA."

Microsoft has responded to the statement by elaborating on exactly what this means for players:

"Over the coming months, players who are under the age of 13 and created an account prior to May 2021 will require parental reconsent – meaning a parent will be prompted to reverify the account and grant permission for their child to continue gameplay and activity on Xbox. We are committed to making this process as seamless as possible. We are working hard to ensure that when parents are prompted to reconsent, they will have the information needed to proceed without disruptions to their child’s access. To learn more about setting up a child account, please visit here.

During the investigation, we identified a technical glitch where our systems did not delete account creation data for child accounts where the account creation process was started but not completed.  This was inconsistent with our policy to save that information for only 14 days to make it easier for gamers to pick up where they left off to complete the process. Our engineering team took immediate action: we fixed the glitch, deleted the data, and implemented practices to prevent the error from recurring. The data was never used, shared, or monetized."