In the first known incident of its kind, an iOS developer recently paid out $50,000 to settle a complaint from the US Federal Trade Commission claiming that his iOS apps harvested children’s personal data without their parents’ knowledge.
The developer, Broken Thumbs Apps, sells a variety of child-targeted apps, including Zombie Duck Hunt, Truth or Dare, and Emily’s Dress Up. The developer also agreed to delete any personal information that violated the Children’s Online Privacy Act, and to not engage in such practices in the future.
The apps asked children to enter their names before being allowed to begin the games, collected email addresses, and offered players the chance to enter blog comments, which were then saved by Broken Thumbs Apps and their owner, W3. The FTC’s report indicated that the apps had downloaded and stored more than 30,000 names and email addresses.