Beware! Smartphone Apps May Give Out Your Child’s Personal Information
How much do you know about the apps on your child’s smart phone? If they downloaded Dokobots, or a similar app aimed at both children and adults, you have a right to be concerned. Your child’s personal information may be at stake.
Dokogeo Inc., the mobile application developer and creator of Dokobots, recently came to a $25,000 settlement with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office for violating Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The NJAG found multiple infractions on Dokogeo’s part.
In this day and age of personal information floating all over the Internet, more and more attention is being placed on websites and smart phone apps. Regulators are looking into apps made for children to make sure they comply with COPPA and the NJ Consumer Fraud Act.
With regard to Dokogeo, the main problem is that the app collects personal information, including birthdates, location, and photos for children under the age of 13, without getting parental consent. Other issues include the fact that the app permits mingling between minors and those over the age of 13. Dokogeo failed to state that the app was only intended for those over the age of 13, and there is an overall vagueness on its consent page.
As a result of the settlement reached, Dokogeo Inc. will overhaul its app to make sure that it meets all of the necessary COPPA standards. All photos have been removed as well as any location references. They have also agreed to discontinue collecting any personal information from users under the age of 13. The $25,000 fine levied against the company is suspended as long as it complies with the settlement, which will be vacated in 10 years – as long as there are no further issues.
There are thousands of apps on the market, be sure to keep a close eye on the ones that your child is downloading. If you suspect a COPPA for NJ Consumer Fraud Act violation, contact the attorneys at Posternock Apell, PC to discuss a possible lawsuit. Call (866) 879-8855 for your free initial consultation.