App Maker Allegedly Gathers Children’s Personal Info, Gets Slap on the Wrist

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On Friday the (Federal Trade Commission) FTC filed a lawsuit against a company called W3 Innovations. They are the parent company of iPhone developer Broken Thumbs Apps. The FTC alleges that the apps, which have been downloaded more than 50,000 times from the iTunes App Store collected personal information from children.

Rather than deal with a legal battle, W3 settled Monday for $50,000, reports 9to5Mac. Furthermore, they have agreed to delete all the information from their servers. According to the FTC’s complaint, W3 stored more than 30,000 email addresses (as they point out, these are likely parent’s emails) and personal information on their servers. It’s not clear how much or what information was shared based on the report other than names and comments made on a blog.

In reality, most of the information is probably harmless, and we hope the children didn’t share too much, but harmless or not, the information transferred is in violation of the Children’s Online privacy Protection Pact (COPPA), says the report.

Yeah, collecting info isn’t a good idea when it’s kids we’re talking about. Parents and the government don’t take kindly to that. Then again, maybe it beats grabbing passwords to expose how terrible people are at creating them.

[via Ars Technica]

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