THE PERENNIALLY POPULAR Walt Disney Company is being sued by parents in California because of concerns that otherwise apparently children-friendly apps are actually data vacuums that know more about your kin than you do.
Because this is to do with kids and apps we sort of assumed that this would be about privacy, and it is. The Institute of Engineering and Technology website says that there were 42 apps in question and that they include some that even we have heard of like Temple Run and two others with Star Wars in their title.
Parents are able to take Disney to court because their lawyers will complain that Walt Disney Company has violated the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), but doing the opposite of what the COPPA was set out to achieve.
The E&T reports that a class action suit was filed on behalf of a lady with a child from San Francisco and will concern the interests of consumers in 35 states.
"Most consumers, including parents, do not know that apps created for children are engineered to surreptitiously and unlawfully collect the child-users' personal information," claims the lawsuit which adds that data can be exploited.
Disney is ready for a fight apparently and isn't going to Donald Duck out of this Mickey Mouse case because it knows that as far as it knows it is doing the right thing.
"Disney has a robust COPPA compliance program, and we maintain strict data collection and use policies for Disney apps created for children and families," it said in a statement. "The complaint is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles, and we look forward to defending this action in Court."
We dread to think how low ideas have to be plumbed by the time you have 45 child-friendly games in your roster, but we imagine that most of the games could follow this naming convention: "temple/castle/sea+clone/robot/princess/space pirate+candy/rocks/jewels+run/catch/crush," with a few Disney specifics thrown in for good measure and a number at the end so you can tell them apart.
We have asked the mouse factory to confirm its position. µ
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