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04 August 2017

Disney sued for tracking kids who play its mobile games

This doesn't look good for Disney.
This doesn’t look good for Disney.

Image: Aviation Images/REX/Shutterstock

Disney is facing harsh questions about its mobile games.

The company is allegedly violating privacy laws regulating how children’s personal data can be collected and used, according to a lawsuit filed this week in federal court. 

The class action lawsuit claims that ad-tracking software embedded within Disney’s mobile games illegally keeps tabs on its users and makes personal identifying information of children available to third-parties. 

While ad tracking software is commonplace in the App Store, the FTC has strict regulations about how and when internet companies can collect data about children under the age of 13. The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco District Court Thursday, says Disney has violated these rules by using ad tech that potentially exposes identifying information about the children who play its games. (Silicon Valley fans, will be familiar with the federal rules known as COPPA, which turned Dinesh into a sweaty heap before he pawned the problem off on Hooli.) 

The suit, filed by a mother and her child, centers around a game called Disney Princess Palace Pets but names a number of other popular titles, including Disney Crossy Road, Where’s the Water, and Club Penguin Island, that allegedly use the same ad-tracking practices.

A Disney representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The lawsuit asks for damage figures to be determined at trial.

h/t: Gizmodo

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