FTC fines Microsoft $20M for illegally collection children’s data
Microsoft will pay a fine of $20 million to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it illegally collected and retained the data of children who signed up to use its Xbox video game console, the Associated Press reports.
The FTC charged that Microsoft gathered the data without notifying parents or obtaining their consent, and that it also illegally held onto the data. Those actions violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
The company is reportedly taking additional steps to improve its age-verification systems and to ensure that parents are involved in the creation of child accounts for the service. These mostly concern efforts to improve age verification technology and to educate children and parents about privacy issues.
The company also claims to have identified and fixed a technical glitch that failed to delete child accounts in cases where the account creation process never finished.
The settlement must be approved by a federal court before it can go into effect.