Regulator alleges Microsoft collected personal information from children
The FTC found that:
- Microsoft collected data on children through its search engine Bing and the web browser Internet Explorer, as well as through other functions such as apps and games;
- Microsoft did not provide notice of its data collection practices to parents;
- Microsoft did not get verifiable parental consent before collecting children’s data;
- Microsoft did not take reasonable steps to ensure that third-party companies to whom it transmitted children’s personal information were capable of protecting the information.
Microsoft has responded to the allegations, saying that it will take “additional steps to strengthen its privacy practices”. A spokesperson for the company has said that Microsoft is “committed to protecting the privacy of our users, including children”.
The FTC has imposed sanctions on companies that violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the past. These sanctions have included fines and orders requiring companies to stop using and sharing children’s data. It remains to be seen what sanctions Microsoft will face, but the case will be an important one for any company that collects personal information from children.
The FTC has accused Microsoft of violating COPPA by collecting personal information from children without obtaining verifiable parental consent. Microsoft has responded by saying that it will take further steps to protect children’s privacy. The case is an important one for any company that collects personal information from children and may result in sanctions being imposed on Microsoft.