Mojang account users under 13

The following describes how we handle data for children under 13 years of age, as required by U.S. law. It's a bit more lawyer-y than we usually would post, but it's very clear about everything, so please bear with us as you read it. If after reading you have further questions, you can contact Mojang Support with the Contact link at the bottom of the page.


​Why is Mojang asking Mojang account owners to verify their ages and provide a credit card?
Mojang is a subsidiary of Microsoft Studios. As a US company, Microsoft implements and follows certain procedures to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which is a U.S. law that helps protect children on the internet. Under these policies, we obtain parental consent before any child under age 13 can access certain Mojang account features. The most common method allowed by COPPA for obtaining parental consent is charging a small amount to the parent’s credit card. We verify the card by charging a 10 cent, non-refundable fee. The credit card charge requirement only applies to accounts for children under age 13.

What features are locked for these users?
Playing on Minecraft Realms, chatting in Scrolls, making purchases, or changing settings on the Mojang account site.

Does this mean that there are now two different kinds of accounts, one for children and one for adults?
No. Accounts that require parental consent and have not obtained it have the above features locked out, but there are no additional parental controls, and if consent has been obtained, there is no difference from an account that does not require parental consent.

What is COPPA?
Established by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 1998, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) provides a set of rules around the online collection of personal information from U.S. children under 13. COPPA spells out what a website operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children's privacy and safety online. For more information, visit the FTC's website.

Who must comply with COPPA?
Any U.S. company who operates a commercial website or an online service that collects, uses, or discloses personal information from U.S. children under age 13 and who is directed to children under 13 or has actual knowledge that a user is under 13 must comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

Why are you requesting a credit card number to verify parental consent?
The most common method allowed by COPPA for obtaining parental consent is charging a small amount to the parent’s credit card. We verify the card by charging a 10 cent, non-refundable fee. The credit card charge requirement only applies to accounts for children under age 13.

Are parents charged for each child they sign up?
Yes. Parental consent is verified for each child. The credit card fee is one of the verification methods approved by COPPA.

Are you making money from this?
No. The credit card transaction fees to obtain parental consent costs Mojang more than ten cents, so we do not profit from this.

Will the parent’s credit card number be stored or remain on the account?
No. Mojang does not collect or store credit card information. Instead, encrypted credit card information is sent directly from your computer to a certified back-end processing agency which validates and charges the account. However, Mojang does allow users to elect to have future purchases/renewals charged to their account without requiring the user to reenter their credit card information. See this article for more details.

Do other companies charge this fee?
Yes. Charging a credit card is the most commonly used method of verifying parental consent under COPPA.

Is there an alternate method that does not require a fee?
If you create a Mojang account during a Minecraft purchase, consent can be given during the purchase with no additional fee. After a purchase, parents can contact Mojang Support to request a consent form, which should be printed, signed, scanned or photographed, and then returned. Note that a Mojang account is required in order to give consent. If you have an old account and do not have a Mojang account, you can migrate to the new format at account.mojang.com/migrate.

If COPPA was enacted in 1998, why are you only requiring age verification now? 
Mojang was acquired by Microsoft in November 2014. Microsoft has established internal guidelines on the collection and use of children's information and the requirement of parental consent that often go above and beyond the practices established by other companies. Other companies, in particular ones established outside the US, may have practices that focus more on compliance within the jurisdictions in which they reside.

Is this happening because you are changing all Mojang accounts over to Microsoft or Xbox Live accounts?
No, Mojang continues to administer all Mojang accounts created to play Minecraft through Minecraft.net.
 

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