The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached its first settlement agreement last week with the maker of a smartphone app the commission claims violated child privacy laws. The FTC had filed a complaint against mobile app-maker W3 Innovations (also known as Broken Thumbs Apps) after one of the company’s popular iPod/iPhone apps, “Emily,” retrieved email addresses from children under 13 years old—a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
“Emily,” which allowed children to play games and create dress-up outfits, had been downloaded more than 50,000 times. To comment in the app, children were required to use their personal email addresses. As a result, W3 unlawfully maintained thousands of email addresses of underage users, the FTC said in its complaint.