FTC settles complaint over violation of child privacy laws

App unlawfully retrieved information from children under 13

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.


Cathleen Flahardy

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