Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Microsoft to pay $20M over child privacy violation

Microsoft illegally collected personal data from children for account creation of its Xbox gaming system.

Washington, 6 June, 2023 (GNP): According to officials, Microsoft would pay $20 million to settle government charges that it illegally obtained personal data from children without their parent’s consent.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that between 2015 and 2020, Microsoft retained the data it collected from children under the age of 13 during the account creation process for its Xbox gaming system without their parent’s consent.

Users had to enter their first and last names, email addresses, and birth dates to register an account.

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According to the FTC, Microsoft broke the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA.

According to the head of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Samuel Levine, “Our proposed order makes it easier for parents to protect their children’s privacy on Xbox and limits what information Microsoft can collect and retain about kids.”

Levine continued, “This action should make it abundantly clear that kids’ avatars, biometric information, and health information are not exempt from COPPA.”

The decision can be put into effect after having the approval from a federal court.

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According to the FTC, Microsoft will have to take several actions to strengthen privacy protections for children using its Xbox system.

According to the COPPA law, websites and online services directed to children under the age of 13 are required to inform parents about the personal information they collect and get a verified parental agreement before collecting and using any personal data obtained from children.

Microsoft did not give an immediate response to AFP’s request for comment.