The Federal Trade Commission ( FTC) has ordered Microsoft to pay $20 million for illegally collecting personal data. The investigation found that Microsoft gathered Children data who were using Xbox without parental consent. Microsoft has been ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to pay a fine of $20 million for unlawfully collecting personal data. The investigation revealed that Microsoft had obtained information from children using Xbox without the consent of their parents.
For users 13 years old and younger, Xbox mandates parental consent. However, an investigation revealed that Microsoft continued to retain user data even without obtaining the parent’s consent.
FTC is an independent agency of the United States that ensures the protection of consumers. According to the FTC, Microsoft has breached the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by secretly gathering the personal information of minors without informing their parents and storing it for a prolonged period.
Microsoft needs to follow these rules
In addition to a monetary penalty, the FTC has made several demands for Microsoft to fulfil.
- Informing parents who have not opened separate accounts for their children
- Obtain parental consent for accounts created before May 2021 if the account holder is still a child
- To delete all data that have been gathered without the consent of parents
Microsoft, in its defence, said that there was a technical glitch that caused systems to fail to delete data from accounts that were pending creation. However, the company is currently addressing the issue by manually removing the data. Microsoft assures the public that the data was never utilized, shared, or monetized.
Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Xbox, Dave McCarthy, has shared in a blog post the company’s commitment to enhancing its age verification systems and involving parents in the creation of child accounts. Their focus is on improving the technology for age verification and educating families on privacy matters.