The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fined Microsoft $20 million for violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) with Xbox. This is because the company illegally collected and retained children's information.
Shortly after the regulator issued a statement on the matter, Xbox followed suit to explain the situation. Through Xbox Wire, the company accepted its mistakes in handling children's data on Xbox accounts. For this reason, it pledged to improve its systems to protect younger gamers.
Xbox will adjust its account creation process following FTC fine
Xbox reported that it will respond to all of the FTC's demands to improve and demonstrate its commitment to the safety of its players. For such reason, it will update its account creation process and adjust its systems related to data retention.
"Regrettably, we did not meet customer expectations and are committed to complying with the order to continue improving upon our safety measures. We believe that we can and should do more, and we’ll remain steadfast in our commitment to safety, privacy, and security for our community," the company said.
What adjustments will be made to Xbox? The company explained that it will improve its identity and age validation processes. For this reason, in the coming months it will test various methods to validate information and receive feedback.
It will also make adjustments to the account creation process, so players will now have to provide their date of birth before anything else. In this way, minors under the age of 13 will have to have the consent of their parents or guardian to continue with the process.
On the other hand, it will make those under 13 who created an account before May 2021 now require the consent of an adult. To do so, they will be asked to re-verify the account and permissions, a process that will be necessary to continue using games and services.
Finally, Xbox confirmed that their systems stored information of minors for longer than allowed. So they will make the necessary adjustments so that the data will only be stored for 14 days and then deleted.