SGT is investigating whether Epic Games, Inc. (Epic Games) – the developer and owner of the Fortnite video game franchise – violated state consumer protection statutes and common law by engaging in conduct the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allege violates federal law.
On December 19, 2020, the DOJ and FTC announced a settlement with Epic requiring Epic to pay a $275 million fine for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act). The DOJ and FTC alleged that Epic had violated COPPA and the FTC Act by, among other things:
- illegally collecting the personal information of minor children playing Epic’s Fortnite video game without verified parental consent; and
- unfairly implementing and maintaining default settings which publicly broadcast children’s player display names and put children in real-time contact with other players via voice and text communication.
Epic Games also agreed to refund parents for $245 million in unauthorized purchases including those made by minor children. You can read more about the cases brought by the DOJ and FTC, as well as the resulting settlement here and here.
In addition to violations of COPPA and the FTC Act, SGT believes Epic’s conduct likely violated various states’ consumer protection statutes as well as common law rights to privacy. SGT’s class action attorneys have unique experience representing children and the parents of children whose personal information has been collected by companies seeking to exploit it for profit.
If you are a parent of a child who was under 13 from January 1, 2017 through December 19, 2022 and played Fortnite and wish to learn more about the rights of you and your child, contact an SGT attorney today by filling out the contact form to the right. Please provide your state of residence and duration of your child's use of Fortnite in the "message" field.