Parent Files Lawsuit Against Disney Claiming Violation of Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

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Princess Palace Pets app

In a class-action lawsuit brought against The Walt Disney Company, Disney Electronic Content and several others; Amanda Rushing is claiming that Disney’s Princess Palace Pets app among others violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Rushing is claiming that the apps have illegally gathered information and are tracking the online behavior of it’s young users.

The suit includes, “all persons residing in the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia who are younger than the age of 13, or were younger than the age of 13 when they played the Game Tracking Apps, and their parents and/or legal guardians, from whom Defendants collected, used, or disclosed personal information without verifiable parental consent.”

Lawyer Michael Sobol states in the lawsuit, “App developers and their SDK-providing partners can track children’s behavior while they play online games with their mobile devices by obtaining critical pieces of data from the mobile devices, including ‘persistent identifiers,’ typically a unique number linked to a specific mobile device. These persistent identifiers allow SDK providers to detect a child’s activity across multiple apps and platforms on the internet, and across different devices, effectively providing a full chronology of the child’s actions across devices and apps. This information is then sold to various third-parties who sell targeted online advertising.” Sobol adds, “Disney has failed to safeguard children’s personal information and ensure that third-parties’ collection of data from children is lawful.”

Below is a statement from The Walt Disney Company.

“Disney has a robust COPPA compliance program, and we maintain strict data collection and use policies for Disney apps created for children and families. The complaint is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles, and we look forward to defending this action in Court.”

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Photo Credit: Disney


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