Entertainment giant Disney is being sued over claims that some of its gaming apps collect personal information about young players and shares it illegally with advertisers. Disney says it doesn't believe the suit has any merit and will defend itself in court.
As reported by The Washington Post, Disney is listed as a defendant in the suit, alongside three other tech companies, including Upsight, Unity, and Kochava. Specifically, the plaintiffs in the class-action suit allege that Disney and is violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which protects children's privacy through online sites and apps. An injunction that stops Disney and its partners from disclosing the information without parental consent is what the plaintiffs are seeking. They are also looking to collect punitive damages and legal fees.
A Disney spokesperson told The Washington Post that this lawsuit is based on a "fundamental misunderstanding" of how COPPA works.
"Disney has a robust COPPA compliance program, and we maintain strict data collection and use policies for Disney apps created for children and families," Disney said. "The complaint is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles, and we look forward to defending this action in Court."
According to the lawsuit, games like Disney Princess Palace Pets and Where's My Water 2 have "trackers" inside their code that allows Disney to "exfiltrate that information off the smart device for advertising and other commercial purposes."
In 2014, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff developer TinyCo. agreed to pay a $300,000 fine to settle charges brought against it from the FTC over claims that it violated COPPA standards.
We'll report back with more details on the Disney case it new information becomes available.