Microsoft will have to pay $ 20 million to end lawsuits by the US Consumer Protection Agency (FTC) for harvesting personal data of minors, without parental consent. The FTC said in a statement 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 the Xbox console, without informing their parents, and to have kept it. To create an account, the user must provide first and last name, email address, and date of birth. Microsoft "broke the law" on protecting children's privacy online, COPPA, details the FTC.
The ruling we are proposing makes it easier for parents to protect the privacy of their children's data on Xbox and limits the information Microsoft can collect and retain about minors," Samuel Levine, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in the statement. "This action should also make it very clear that avatars, biometric data and children's health information are not exempt" from the law on the protection of the privacy of minors.
The decision must be approved by a federal court before it can take effect. "Microsoft will need to take several steps to strengthen the privacy of children using its Xbox system," the FTC said in its statement. Under COPPA, online services and websites directed to children under the age of 13 are required to inform parents of the personal information they collect and to obtain parental consent. A Microsoft spokesman, questioned 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.