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Fortnite Developer Epic Games Slapped With $275M Penalty

Epic Games has been fined for violating children's online privacy, banned from using collected data.

The Federal Trade Commission announced it has reached a settlement with Epic Games, the developer behind the wildly popular online game Fortnite, for its violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The settlement still requires approval from a US federal court.

In addition to paying a $275 million fine, Epic Games received an injunction barring it from utilizing any of the Fortnite data collected outside COPPA rules, according to a statement from the FTC.

"As our complaint notes, Epic used privacy-invasive default settings that harmed young Fortnite players," FTC Chair Lina M. Khan said in the announcement. "Protecting the public, and especially children and teens, from online privacy invasions is a top priority for the Commission, and this enforcement action makes clear to businesses that the FTC is cracking down on these unlawful practices."

This isn't Epic Games' first security snafu. In 2019, a vulnerability in its online platform could have threatened data belonging to players of Fortnite.

Fortnite, created by Epic Games, has more than 80 million players and is responsible for nearly half of the video game developer's estimated value of $5 billion to $8 billion.

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