Codebreaker

App maker coughs up 50 grand for privacy violations

John Moe Aug 16, 2011

On Friday the Federal Trade Commission opened a lawsuit against W3 Innovations, makers of Broken Thumbs Apps, for violating the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Yesterday the company agreed to pay a $50,000 fine to settle the dispute. The app maker had been collecting user information from some minors who blogged and left comments some of its games’ sites.

NextGov tells us that the inevitable Rockefeller, Markey, and Barton seized the moment:

Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the action sets a much-needed precedent for mobile privacy. Still, said Rockefeller, the FTC has more to do to ensure that mobile privacy policies catch up to policies for older technologies.
“We must be particularly vigilant when it comes to protecting the privacy and safety of our children,” said Rockefeller, who has held several committee hearings on privacy, in a statement. “And while I am pleased with the FTC’s recent action, I also believe it is crucial that the FTC completes its revision of the COPPA Rule to account for changing technology and give consumers the regulatory protections they need for the future.”
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., also praised the FTC’s decision, and said he will move forward with the Do Not Track Kids Act, introduced earlier this year by Markey and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas.

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