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Epic Games sentenced for stealing your information and money

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The American authorities have given the developer of Fortnite no chance, which must pay a fine of half a million dollars.

After the addiction charges Fortnite, Epic Games is making headlines again, and not for the right reasons. Even if the developer plays Santa Claus on its online store, it will also have to be generous with the American authorities. Following legal proceedings, it is a $520 million fine waiting for Tim Sweeney’s studio.

By mutual agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, it was Epic himself who decided to pay this sum to put an end to the charges that were far from pretty. The US Consumer Law and Trade Practices Agency had judged certain studio practices as dangerousparticularly in terms of the use of personal data and in-game purchases.

Children at the heart of the problem

According to the authorities in charge of the case, the studio is guilty of collecting information from children under the age of 13 without parental consent as well as using deceptive techniques to facilitate in-game purchases against the will of the users. The privacy settings were not suitable for a children’s account, which may explain the recent introduction of the new “restricted accounts” on the platform.

Also, the use of voice and text chat by default is highlighted by the FTC, which explains that this practice too often leads to cyberbullying that can leave psychological scars in the youngest. On the financial side and microtransactions, the other half of the fine is reserved for refunds of users who found themselves making purchases against their will. Buying cosmetics with one click is therefore no longer possible for this simple reason.

These kinds of accusations are not to be taken lightly and can be devastating to a studio’s reputation. Rather than get bogged down in another legal battle, Epic Games made the decision to pay the fines and communicate about them. “No developer makes a game to end up in this situation”explains the studio in an official press release.

We joined this agreement because we want Epic to be at the forefront of consumer protection to provide the best experience for our players.

For the FTC, this colossal fine serves as an example to convey a message:

Protecting the public, and especially children, from invasions of privacy and deceptive practices is a major objective for the Commission.”

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