Fortnite game fined $520m for anti-social behaviour

Epic Games, maker of the Fortnite game, will pay a US court a $520 million fine for violating the privacy laws of minors by exposing them to dangerous content, including sexual harassment and bullying.

Epic, Games, Fortnite

Epic Games, maker of the famous video game Fortnite, which for the years 2018 and 2019 brought in more than $9 billion in revenue, will pay the "standard" fine of $520 million to settle with the US authorities and specifically with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) for violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and their exposure.

The FTC had sued Epic Games alleging that the game Fortnite brought children into contact with "strangers", exposed them to "dangerous and psychologically traumatic situations" and did not introduce adequate parental control systems.

According to a statement from FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, "Protecting the public, and especially children, from invasions of online privacy and dark patterns is a top priority for the Commission, and these enforcement actions make it clear to businesses that the FTC is cracking down on illegal practices.”

In fact the total fine consists of of two smaller ones, one for $245 million for violating the federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and one for $275 million because the company allegedly collected personal information about underage players who hadn't yet closed their accounts. 13, without informing and obtaining consent from the parents.

Epic, Games, Fortnite

The reasoning behind the decision is of great interest as it highlights several social phenomena in the field of electronic games. It says these fines are being imposed because families have seen their children glued to their computer screens for more than 12 hours a day and sobbing when parents took them away from the computer.

A second rationale for the FTC's fine alleges "dark patterns" intended to "trick" players into buying "perks" that actually offered nothing. Users were likely under the age of 13 and did not have parental consent to charge their credit cards.

In fact, the existence of internal reports from the company Epic Games was also said, according to which certain features of the game, including voice chat, presented a "risk in terms of negative social behavior", and children were subjected to bullying, threats and harassment, among others and sexual.

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Epic, Games, Fortnite

Written by Dimitris

Dimitris hates on Mondays .....

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