A mobile applications developer will be fined $50,000 for allegedly collecting and disclosing children's personal information without parental consent, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has said. The US consumer regulator settled charges against W3 Innovations and its owner, Justin Maples, over the company's alleged …
Facebook better be ready to take a hit then
Wonder how many children are using that.
You have to be over 13 to use facebook, the fact that <13's are knowingly on there pretending to be 13+ is a problem but I guess their ToS excludes them from COPPA.
collecting and maintaining children's email addresses
I understand collecting the addresses, but how does someone maintain an e-mail address?
Is it just that "collecting and deleting" makes them sound less bad and the truth of "deleting old accounts as soon as requested by the user" makes them sound like any normal company running an online service?
"Companies must give parents the opportunity to make smart choices when it comes to their children's sharing of information on smartphones"
How about not giving them, and paying for, the smartphone in the first place.
But 13 year olds are still children -- at least they are in the UK --
I suppose in America they look like full-grown adults...
...maybe adult 'Merkins are akin to 13yr olds...
I really think this is silly, how do you obtain “obtain verifiable parental” consent for an internet based software product. In fact how do you even prove age over the internet? If somebody said they are over 18 years of age, how do you disprove it?
The best thing Maples could do now is make his app only available to over 18 year olds, or will he be fined because people lied when they signed up
"If somebody said they are over 18 years of age, how do you disprove it?"
For girls, it's easy - if they've mentioned horses more than once a week for the past month, they're under 14.
Alternatively, you could set a trap - offer a pony-themed game / desktop / whatever background; anyone who tries to get it needs to provide a credit card number.
Now, trying to determine if a BOY is over 14... that gets a little trickier...
I am sure he is selling the backup file database of those kids.
It is in the wild already so its too late.
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