US Walt Disney-owned Playdom will pay $3 million to settle charges that the online game star wrongly gathered information about children. Playdom broke the law by not getting permission from parents or guardians before collecting information about young players and letting it be shared in the online game community, according to the Federal Trade Commission. FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a release:
Let’s be clear: Whether you are a virtual world, a social network, or any other interactive site that appeals to kids, you owe it to parents and their children to provide proper notice and get proper consent. It’s the law, it’s the right thing to do, and, as today’s settlement demonstrates, violating COPPA will not come cheap.
The settlement was the most money ever paid to resolve charges of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Playdom also agreed to adhere to the law regarding data about young players. The FTC had charged the company behind games including “Pony Stars” and “My Diva Doll” with collecting personal information from children that signed up to play online and then letting them share such details in profiles and forums. Children younger than 13 years old were allowed to post their names, email addresses, locations and other information, according to the FTC complaint. Playdom, which was bought by Walt Disney Company last year for about $763 million, is considered among the top three social game companies. It’s reported to have more than 40 million monthly users.
Source: Yahoo News
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