Others

Disney and three other companies faces a federal lawsuit for violating the COPPA Act for children.

Next, in line, Disney was recently sued through a federal class lawsuit last week in California. It aims to allege that the Walt Disney Company has been violating the privacy of the children. It does so by collecting children’s intel on personal information through 42 of its known apps. This information and data are thus shared by the company to the advertisers sans the consent of the parents.

The lawsuit not only targets Disney but three other companies namely Kochava, Unity and Upsight. It is being claimed that these companies produce mobile apps for children to use. These apps come with embedded software to track, collect, locate, then finally export the information on personal activities and online behaviour. Amanda Rushing, a plaintiff from Sans Francisco, shared that she was in the dark about such a practice going on while her kid blissfully played mobile games, Disney Princess Palace Pets. The selling of information without the knowledge and consent of the parents is very unethical.

This malpractice violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which was enacted by Congress in 1999 for the sole purpose to protect the privacy of children online which is now being compromised. The COPPA Act is designed in such a way that the game designing apps will have to seek parental consent before extracting intel on children of age under than 13. The act was further revised in 2013, adding some pointers in personal information like IP addresses, Geo Location markers. The updated version makes it imperative for the third party to comply with these clauses as well.

The plaintiff is set to seek out an injunction which bars the defendants from tracking, locating, sharing the data collected without the consent of a parent with “appropriate relief, including actual and statutory damages and punitive damages,” this will also be an all costs related to prosecuting the action. Let us see what are Disney’s views on this. They have responded by saying “Disney has a robust COPPA compliance program, and we maintain strict data collection and use policies for Disney apps created for children and families. The complaint is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles, and we look forward to defending this action in court.”

Well, this is not the first time that Disney company is facing the COPPA violations. In the year of 2011, they had to face another lawsuit on the similar basis. They had collected information from “hundreds of thousands of children under age 13 without their parents’ prior consent.”The FTC then levied a $3 million civil penalty against subsidiary Playdom.

Here is the list of the app through which Disney is extracting intel on children below the age of 13.

  • AvengersNet
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Perfect Match
  • Cars Lightning League
  • Club Penguin Island
  • Color by Disney
  • Disney Color and Play
  • Disney Crossy Road
  • Disney Dream Treats
  • Disney Emoji Blitz
  • Disney Gif
  • Disney Jigsaw Puzzle!
  • Disney LOL
  • Disney Princess: Story Theater
  • Disney Store Become
  • Disney Story Central
  • Disney Magic Timer
  • Disney Princess: Charmed Adventures
  • Dodo Pop
  • Disney Build It Frozen
  • DuckTales: Remastered
  • Frozen Free Fall
  • Frozen Free Fall: Icy Shot
  • Good Dinosaur Storybook Deluxe
  • Inside Out Thought Bubbles
  • Maleficent Free Fall
  • Miles from Tomorrowland: Missions
  • Moana Island Life
  • Olaf’s Adventures
  • Palace Pets in Whisker Haven
  • Sofia the First Color and Play
  • Sofia the First Secret Library
  • Star Wars: Puzzle DroidsTM
  • Star WarsTM: Commander
  • Temple Run: Oz
  • Temple Run: Brave
  • The Lion Guard
  • Toy Story: Story Theater
  • Where’s My Mickey?
  • Where’s My Water? (paid, lite, and free)
  • Where’s My Water? 2
  • Zootopia Crime Files: Hidden Object

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