Microsoft pays $20 million after alleged Xbox kids privacy violations

The FTC has charged Microsoft with illegal Xbox kids privacy practices, including gathering children’s data without parental consent.

gaming remote
By Olichel via Pixabay |
Companies need to protect young users' privacy.

Microsoft will pay $20 million to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) following a complaint that the company broke the law by collecting the personal information of children without parental consent.

The tech giant’s actions reportedly violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA). According to the FTC, Microsoft also failed to disclose what information Xbox collected, and that such data may be shared with third parties. The platform also allegedly retained children’s data for longer than necessary.

In addition to the $20 million penalty, a proposed order will mandate COPPA compliance and bolster protections around data collection, use, and disclosure to third parties. Further, the order’s protections ensure that a child’s biometric data and geolocation are collected according to COPPA guidelines.

Recently, the FTC has cracked down on tech companies across the board, including Amazon and Meta. As smart toys and other child-centered technologies become increasingly popular, it is essential that childrens’ privacy remains protected. 

Children’s safety and wellbeing is important in our increasingly digital world. Companies should take responsibility for keeping kids safe online by collecting minimal data and restricting how it is used, circulated, or sold.


Show More