Gamers Now Have Until February: Fortnite gamers who were affected by the violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by Epic Games now have until February 29, 2024, to claim their share of the $245 million settlement fund. In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed charges against Epic Games for using design techniques that misled millions of users into making unwanted in-game purchases and locking customer accounts that disputed such charges with their credit card companies.
The extended deadline gives eligible gamers more time to file their claims and receive compensation for any unauthorized in-game purchases made through Fortnite. The settlement fund aims to compensate all affected players who were under 18 years old when they made these purchases or whose parents incurred these expenses on their behalf. It is a significant development in online gaming regulation and emphasizes the importance of protecting children’s privacy and preventing deceptive practices.
Gamers Now Have Until February
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) made a landmark decision in March 2023 when it imposed specific conditions on a company as part of the settlement. The company was required to pay $245 million as compensation to consumers and an additional $275 million penalty under COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) payable to the U.S. Treasury. Furthermore, Epic had to enhance its default privacy settings for minors to ensure their safety and security online. This case highlights the significance of safeguarding user privacy, especially children’s personal information, while using online services.
It serves as a warning to businesses that they must prioritize data privacy to avoid legal consequences and public backlash. The FTC’s action emphasizes the need for companies to take proactive measures in protecting user privacy and complying with regulations such as COPPA, GDPR, and CCPA. Additionally, it underscores the importance of transparency in data collection practices and providing users with clear opt-in/opt-out options. As more people become concerned about data breaches and online privacy violations, businesses must incorporate privacy considerations into their operations to maintain consumer trust and loyalty.
Who Qualifies for a Refund?
If you have encountered any of these situations as a Fortnite player or a parent funding the gameplay, you can apply for a refund.
- You incurred charges for undesired in-game items using in-game currency from January 2017 to September 2022.
- Unauthorized credit card charges were made by your child from January 2017 to November 2018.
- Your account was restricted from January 2017 to September 2022 following your challenge of unauthorized charges with your credit card provider.
Fortnite, the popular online game, boasts a staggering 400 million players worldwide, according to FTC data. However, only U.S.-based players are eligible to file claims in recent legal proceedings. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also taken steps to compensate those affected by alleged deceptive practices by Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite. In September and October, the FTC notified 37 million people via email that they may be eligible for compensation and provided individual claim ID numbers. While the exact number of eligible claimants is yet to be determined, it is clear that this legal action has significant implications for the gaming industry as a whole.
How Can I Apply for a Refund?
If you meet the requirements, you must submit a refund application through the FTC v. Epic Games refund website.
You will require either:
- The claim number you received in your email from the FTC, or
- Please provide your Epic account ID.
If you have not received an email with a claim number, there are several ways to locate your account ID. The easiest method is to visit the Epic Games website and log in to your account. From there, you can navigate to the “Profile” section, where you’ll find your account ID listed under “Account Info.” It’s important to note that if you’re under 18 years old, a parent or guardian must fill out the claim form on your behalf. This is because the law requires minors to obtain parental consent before disclosing any personal information online. Once you have located your account ID and completed the claim form, you can expect to receive updates on the status of your claim via email.
When Is the Deadline To Apply?
Customers are required to submit their claim no later than February 29, 2024.
How Much Will I Get?
The FTC has not yet determined the amount that each eligible claimant will receive.
The number of people who will receive compensation for the settlement in question depends on the number of individuals who file claims. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has identified and contacted 37 million individuals who are potentially eligible to file a claim. However, it is possible that the number of claimants could be even higher since those who did not receive emails can still apply for compensation using their Epic account ID. This suggests that the final number of people receiving payouts could be substantial, making this one of the largest settlements in history.