|Photo credits: Sean Yu via flickr|
A lawsuit filed against The Walt Disney Company reveals 43 smartphone apps that are illegally collecting children’s personal information as they spy on their online activities, reported Fox News.
On August 3, Amanda Rushing from California slapped Disney with a class-action lawsuit for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998.
According to its summary, “COPPA imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.”
Rushing filed the lawsuit in a district court in San Francisco, California.
Based from the lawsuit, “trackers” were installed on these apps. They enabled the apps to keep track of the sites visited by kids and to discover their geographical location.
For marketing purposes, third parties buy this information gathered by the trackers.
In the lawsuit, Rushing claims that she never gave her “verifiable parental consent” to Disney “to collect, use, or disclose her child’s personal information,” reported Fox 13 Memphis.
Disney said, according to The Washington Post, that it complies with COPPA and that Rushing’s complaint stemmed from “a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles.”
The company added that it will defend its stand in court.
For the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, Jeffrey Chester, the tracking software embedded in the Disney apps “should not be in little children’s apps,” quoted the news site.
More than five years ago, in 2011, Playcom, a Disney subsidiary, was found guilty of violating the COPPA when children’s full names, ages, email addresses, and other personal information were collected by Disney.
The court ordered Playcom to pay a $3 million fine.
Below is the list of Disney apps spying on children as enumerated in the lawsuit:
"Beauty and the Beast"
"Cars Lightening League"
"Color by Disney"
"Disney Color and Play"
"Disney Crossy Road"
"Disney Dream Treats"
"Disney Emoji Blitz"
"Disney Jigsaw Puzzle!"
"Disney Princess: Story Theater"
"Disney Store Become"
"Disney Story Central"
"Disney's Magic Timer by Oral-B"
"Disney Princess: Charmed Adventures"
"Disney Build It Frozen"
"Frozen Free Fall"
"Good Dinosaur Storybook Deluxe"
"Inside Out Thought Bubbles"
"Maleficent Free Fall"
"Miles from Tomorrowland: Missions"
"Moana Island Life"
"Palace Pets in Whisker Haven"
"Sofia the First Color and Play"
"Sofia the First Secret Library"
"Star Wars: Puzzle DroidsTM"
"Star WarsTM: Commander"
"Temple Run: Oz"
"Temple Run: Brave"
"The Lion Guard"
"Toy Story: Story Theater"
"Where’s My Water?"
"Where's My Mickey?"
"Where's My Water? 2"
"Where’s My Water? Lite/Where’s My Water? Free"
"Zootopia Crime Files: Hidden Object"