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FTC Settlements with Fortnite Game Maker Expose Lack of Clarity in Children and Teen Privacy Regulations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently went where the federal legislature has been unable to go so far—attempting to protect the privacy of teenagers and the mental health of both children and teens. In two record-breaking settlements, the agency extracted promises from Epic Games Inc., the maker of the popular multiplayer online game Fortnite, to provide certain privacy protections for players under age 18 and to safeguard children and teens from psychological trauma while playing the game with strangers.

The settlements clearly indicate the FTC means business in cracking down on children’s privacy violations, but they also raise questions about the subjective criteria relied upon by federal and state regulators and industry policy makers.
In this PLI Chronicle article, Advanced Media & Technology partner Nerissa Coyle McGinn discusses the FTC’s settlement with Epic Games Inc. and its use of its Section 5 powers to exceed the scope of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In addition, the author examines the framework of California’s new Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AADC) and allegations against the government for allegedly violating the First Amendment.   

To read the full article please visit PLI PLUS’ website.