back to article Parents claim Disney gobbled up kids' info through mobile games

Disney has been sued in America for allegedly collecting children's personal information without getting parents' approvals. A class-action lawsuit [PDF] filed Thursday in northern California accuses the unstoppable children's entertainment brand and three of its developer partners of violating privacy laws by tracking the …

  1. TheElder

    More than just this

    What about watching the kids at the movies as well?

    Disney Movie Face Tracker

    This also bring up a very interesting idea. What if this becomes a nice little social hacking system to screw up the tracker? Sticking out tongues or sneering when one should be laughing comes to mind.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: More than just this

      What if this becomes a nice little social hacking system to screw up the tracker?

      Or some miscreant passing out masks like this* for audience members to wear? ☺

      *No, not the anonymous one.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: More than just this

      and the BBC (boo hiss) is trialling with Microsoft (bigger boo hiss) an update to iPlayer that detects who is watching the prog being shown by listening to who is in the room.

      https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/2/16084138/bbc-iplayer-voice-ai-experiment-microsoft-trial

      This tracking is getting closer and closer to 1984 that I feel just sad, deeply sad that that there are people out there who think this sort of tracking is a good idea. It is not.

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    To Paraphrase

    Disney, the thief that keeps on stealing.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Joke

    For people who thought the guy on the plane texting about kiddie fiddling was despicable*

    Now watch how real professionals do it.

    Available soon from your local darknet souk for the right level of BTC

    "Kid Finder" will let you find all the "perfect princesses" in your area in convenient driving range. Just enter their preferred characteristics and our app will show you exactly where they are and what they are doing.

    Never miss an opportunity to get closer to that special one.

    For a small extra charge we can also arrange on demand access to their phones sound and camera system, so you can see exactly who their friends are as well.

    * Allegedly as case still pending.

    1. Nolveys
      Windows

      Re: For people who thought the guy on the plane texting about kiddie fiddling was despicable*

      "Kid Finder" will let you find all the "perfect princesses" in your area in convenient driving range. Just enter their preferred characteristics and our app will show you exactly where they are and what they are doing.

      Now and for limited time ask about our Full Package Rental Combo. For only $86 per day you get a Goofy costume, paper towels, a cargo van, a disposable mattress, a roll of poly, a hacksaw, a can of petrol and matches. A shovel may be substituted for the petrol and matches in areas experiencing fire bans. Offer valid until August 31st. Participating locations only. Kid Finder will not be liable for any actions taken by customers. Upholstery cleaning extra.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        For only $86 per day you get a Goofy costume, paper towels, a cargo van, a disposable mattress,

        Indeed.

        Put on a cutesy costume and it's astonishing what you can get away with.

        Starting with John Wayne Gacy as a clown at the local children's hospital.

  4. W4YBO

    Mickey Mouse Club

    "Who's the guy that just got sued for invading privacy? M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!"

    Now that music is going to be stuck in my head all weekend! Maybe I can bleach it out with some old Yes or Zeppelin.

    1. TheElder

      bleach it out

      Try some Rammstein Industrial Metal from Germany. This particular cut is Fuck You in the Ass. It just worked for me...

      Bück dich

  5. erikj

    M-I-C-K-E-Y. . .

    I'm 54 years old, and that reference is before my time. Thanks for that -- it's almost like being carded at a bar again! But I'm worried a bit about El Reg's apparent demographics.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      M-I-C-K-E-Y. . .

      I'm 54 years old, and that reference is before my time. Thanks for that -- it's almost like being carded at a bar again! But I'm worried a bit about El Reg's apparent demographics.

      Bloody hell, where'd you grow up?

      Ok, I'm about ten years younger than you, but I can remember that tune from when it was just incomprehensible background noise the big kids danced around to back when tank top sweaters were popular.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: M-I-C-K-E-Y. . .

      I'm 55 and I grew up on a diet of all things MM Club.

      Annette Funicello......

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        "Annette Funicello......"

        Didn't Mad magazine have a High School named after her?

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: RE: M-I-C-K-E-Y. . .

        "Annette Funicello..."
        I'm 66 and still have fond memories of the cover of a magazine showing her playing with her pussy :-)

        Annette Funicello playing with her pussy

  6. handleoclast

    Puzzled

    Is it just me or is Mickey Mouse completely, totally and utterly unfunny?

    Back when I was four of five I (like most kids that age) laughed at all cartoons, because I knew they were meant to be funny so I laughed. Except Mickey Mouse and his friends. They just weren't funny. I laughed at just about every other cartoon.

    As I grew older, my tastes grew more refined. Road Runner, very funny. Bugs and Daffy, funny. Popeye, occasionally funny. Mickey, still complete shite.

    In my old age, tastes didn't change much except there were new cartoon characters to consider. Happy Tree Friends, hilarious. The rest, pretty much the same rankings as before. Mickey, still complete shite.

    Is it a Merkin thing to think Mickey is funny? Is it down to Disney in the US constantly pumping it down their throats like some sort of cult indoctrination in a way that doesn't happen in the UK? Is it a genetic thing like the ability to roll up your tongue (I can) or taste phenylthiocarbamide (I can) and laugh at Mickey Mouse (I can't). Or is it just me?

    1. Rafael #872397

      Re: Is it just me or is Mickey Mouse completely, totally and utterly unfunny?

      Annoying as hell too. Donald Duck, on the other hand...

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Is it just me or is Mickey Mouse completely, totally and utterly unfunny?

        Annoying as hell too. Donald Duck, on the other hand...

        ...is quite amusing, but pales into dull accountancy compared to Daffy Duck.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Puzzled

      Road Runner, Bugs, Daffy and Popeye - Aren't Disney though, and you didn't mention Woody Woodpecker - I just find ole' Woody a bit too Joe Pesci, but I laughed as a small kid but was always disappointed after about 8 years old.

      Disney are the Microsoft of the entertainment world, they got in when there was nothing else to compete with, leveraged what little they had well, to exploit what little they had into more than it seemed.

      Their output from the early years hasn't aged well in comparison with Warner Bros.

      I don't even think Disney regards Mickey as entertaining anymore, they've not used him for decades, but they're stuck with him as an identifiable mascot.

      1. kain preacher

        Re: Puzzled

        In order for MS to be like Disney this it they would had to do.

        1.) wait till the copy for ext to expire.

        2.)convince courts around the world that they now own all the rights to ext directives and ignore prior art.

        3.) extend copy right to 100 years.

        This what Disney did with fair tails. They plucked them from public domain.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: Puzzled

          This what Disney did with fair tails. They plucked them from public domain.

          Fair Tales - Now that sounds like a Disney title.

          They do try and claim ownership of any story they've done an interpretation of - but there are other (animated) versions of almost every animated disney movie - some made before, many after - they do tend to get eclipsed by the big budget marketing disney machine though.

        2. Tim99 Silver badge

          Re: Puzzled

          The mouse had his big break with "Steamboat Willie" - The cartoon was "inspired by" (ripped off from) Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill,Jr.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Puzzled

            The mouse had his big break with "Steamboat Willie" - The cartoon was "inspired by" (ripped off from) Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill,Jr.

            It fits the US pattern - a lot of early US industry was based on illegal and unauthorised copies of British machinery. Which was protected by the then US Courts who utterly ignored the illegal behaviour.

            An early example of the embrace and extinguish approach later followed by our favourite convicted monopolist supplier of slightly dodgy operating systems.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Puzzled

        Disney are the Microsoft of the entertainment world, they got in when there was nothing else to compete with, leveraged what little they had well, to exploit what little they had into more than it seemed.

        And are the people responsible for starting the current copyright maximalist nonsense. All becuase they didn't want to lose the image rights to Mickey Mouse[1], from which they make lots of moolah.

        [1] Interesting fact that will be interesting to no-one else: My wife's Morris Minor had, when purchased back in 1991, a large transfer of Mickey Mouse on the boot. Which hasn't survived that ongoing 'replacment of wireworm-affected bits" process. It was also used (with a replacement boot lid) on the BBC series "Petrol in motion" programme about the Morris Minor where it was driven by someone who used to rally Morris Minors way back when..

    3. Cardinal

      Couldn't agree more !!!

      @handleoclast

      "Mickey, still complete shite."

      Would make an excellent title for a new biography of the unfunny little rat (IMHO.).

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Couldn't agree more !!!

        Would make an excellent title for a new biography of the unfunny little rat (IMHO.).

        I dunno, I prefer Mickey: the unfunny little rat

        1. kain preacher

          Re: Couldn't agree more !!!

          Mickey. The first rat to create a people trap.

          1. handleoclast

            Re: Couldn't agree more !!!

            @kain preacher

            My increasingly unreliable memory just kicked in with something. I did some checking to fill in a few details.

            Cyril M. Kornbluth wrote a biting satire of Mickey Mouse entitled The Advent on Channel Twelve based around the mindless adoration of "Poopy Panda" by the "Poopy Panda Pals" and the bitter feelings felt by the guy who created Poopy.

            All resemblances to Mickey Mouse and the Mickey Mouse Club are purely intentional. However, Walt Disney had absolutely no regrets about having created Mickey and laughed all the way to the bank. The bitter feelings of Poopy's creator were less to do with shame at what he had wrought and more to do with the fact that control (and profits) had been taken from him.

            Sadly, this Kornbluth short story is not available from Project Gutenberg.

            BTW, did I tell you my memory is increasingly unreliable these days?

            Poop-Poop-Poopy!

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Couldn't agree more !!!

              "BTW, did I tell you my memory is increasingly unreliable these days?"
              I can't remember...

    4. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Puzzled

      "Is it just me or is Mickey Mouse completely, totally and utterly unfunny?"

      I absolutely agree with you, I have always thought that perhaps MM was some kind of in joke, you know, you have to be stoned or something in order to 'see it'.

      Looney Tunes was always better and funnier than Disney.

      I have never forgiven Disney for holding back the Peter Pan franchise to avoid having to pay Royalties to Great Ormond Street. My daughter had to go there a lot as a child and was besotted with Peter Pan (cartoons of which are all over the hospital) but the Disney shops always stocked only the minimum of Peter Pan stuff as GOS was given the Royalty rights in perpetuity in 1929, they would rather not sell anything than have to pay money to someone else.

      So, I am not surprised at anykind of exploitation of children from Disney.

      Shit company!

    5. kain preacher

      Re: Puzzled

      This American has never found Mickey to even be remotely entertaining .

    6. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Puzzled

      "Happy Tree Friends, hilarious."

      Brilliant cartoon, perfect mix of cutesy characters and gruesome violence. Love it. And that irritating theme tune....

      Nah Nah Nah Nanah Nah Nah Nah, Nah Nah Nah Nanah Nah Nah Nah, Nah Nah Nah Nanah Nah Nah Nah

      I recently found volumes 1-3 on dvd for £1 each in one of my local charity shops. On the shelf with other kids/cartoon dvd's. I saw it as my solemn duty to purchase those dvd's, lest they get into the hands of some fragile, little minds.

      Also, so I could tell the till worker that these dvd's were not appropriate for children.* The look on her face...

      Naah Naah Nanah Na Nah, Nanah Nanah Na Nah, Naah Naah Nanah Na Nah, Nanah Nanah Na Nah....

      *Or, maybe not. It's hard to tell these days.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Puzzled

        I get annoyed when the animated film of "Plague Dogs" gets put in the kids section wherever I see it. I'm sure that it must have spawned a load of awkward questions to parents who thought that it would be just like "Watership Down" (although even that was not particularly child-friendly).

        I had an argument with our local Blockbuster (back in the day) because they kept putting it back.

        Fortunately, they decided that even though "Urotsukidōji: Legend of the Overfiend" was an animated film, the rating meant that it did not get put in the kids section. Apparently though, the version released in the UK was actually watered down compared to the original. Only saw it once (it was actually broadcast on the original Sci Fi Channel, albeit in the dead early-morning hours), and that was enough.

        That animation can be used to portray more than kids stories has escaped far too many people.

  7. TheElder

    I like the mouse

    I have always voted for the best candidate as I am apolitical. One time I did a write in vote for MICKY MOUSE

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: I like the mouse

      "I have always voted for the best candidate as I am apolitical."

      I'm not...

      Steamboat Fatty

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    You can't diss the mouse. He groomed Britney Spears n Christina Aguilera for stardom.

    Hmm.

    On second thoughts. ....

  9. TheElder

    extend copy right to 100 years.

    Do some research on how much money they donated to various politicians to make that happen. It was many millions of dollars. Pure and simple corruption.

    Mickey Mouse Protection Act

  10. Florida1920
    Headmaster

    Better to give them GTA

    Good parents wouldn't let their kids anywhere near Disney games.

  11. MrT

    Sounds like shades of Club Penguin...

    Didn't Disney get burned by that one already? Or was that before they bought it and gave it a light rinse in the Bath of Acceptability™ ? Still, it could be worse - it could be Movie Star Planet...

  12. Slef

    Oh peeps of no taste!

    Not effin one of you mentioned Bugs Bunny!

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: Oh peeps of no taste!

      Should'a turned left at Albuquerque!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Internet Connected Kids Toys

    Toys are worse than this. I expect Apps to spy on me, but I dont expect toys to spy on me.

    Someone bought my lad a teddy that demands to be connected to the internet every 10 minutes.

    At the moment the lad is 2 and a half so when the teddy says "tell me your name, login to the website..." he just talks to the teddy and tells it his name.

    However, I can see that for older kids explaining why Daddy won't connect the teddy to the internet could be difficult.

    Im considering going as far as telling people that insist on buying gifts for my lad to make sure it doesnt require the internet. People already think im bonkers anyway.

    My lad clearly does. He clicked on an ad in one of his iPad apps and it took him to the Audi website displaying some model of Audi for approx £50k.

    He then came to find me to ask if I could buy it for him.

    "Daddy buy this. I have it?"

    When your lad toddles up and says that. Its so hard to explain they cant have it without upsetting them!

    For those anticipating how this ended.

    I ended up buying him a new toy car. It wasn't an Audi. He was very happy.

    Im well on the road to overtaking Spider-man as his hero of choice.

    *Lad wakes up in the night crying*

    Mum: Do you want me to get daddy?

    Lad: No. Spider-man please.

    Can't win.

    1. 's water music Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I can haz audi?

      Mum: Do you want me to get daddy?

      Lad: No. Spider-man please.

      What do you expect? Just buy the boy the car already. Think of the savings in therapy bills down the line.

    2. eliana1234

      Re: Internet Connected Kids Toys

      Hey,

      I want to gift some educational toys to my 4-year-old nephew on his birthday.

      So please suggest me some shops or online sites where I can get it at an affordable price?

      Thanks.

  14. JaitcH
    WTF?

    They all need a couple of more Apps.

    1. The App that allows Android users to change their IMSI (this one REALLY winds GCHQ up!)

    2. The App that allows you to change GPS readings - and insert (Form Latatitude Longitude) (h ddd.ddddd°) N 42.79515° E 105.03236° OR (h ddd° mm.mmm′) N 42° 47.709' E 105° 1.942' OR (h dd° mm′ ss.s″) N 42° 47' 42.6'' E 105° 1' 56.5''.

    These coordinates are for the Gobi Desert. I usually insert them in equipment that gets nosy and inquires of my whereabouts.

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