Lawsuit Claims 42 Disney Apps to Be Snooping On Your Children

As per a federal lawsuit filed against Walt Disney in California states, the company has been secretly gathering private data on few of their youngest users and also shares it unlawfully with advertisers without the consent of their parents. The class suit targets Disney and 3 other software firms, including Unity, Kochava, and Upsight, claiming that the mobile apps developed by them collectively defy the guidelines by collecting insights about users of the apps across the Internet, comprising those below age 13, thus facilitating “commercial exploitation.”

The accusers contend that Disney and its allies flouted the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a federal regulation intended to safeguard the children’s privacy on the Web. The complaint, filed in the US District Court, seeks a command that would prevent the companies from gathering and divulging the information without parental approval, as well as legal fees and punitive damages.

The litigation claims that Disney permitted the software firms to set in trackers in apps such as Where’s My Water? 2 and Disney Princess Palace Pets. After installation, the tracking software can “pull out that data off the smart device for promotion and other commercial purposes.”

The online services that target customers below age 13 should exhibit a privacy policy that is simple to read and easy to comprehend, as stated by the Federal Trade Commission. The policy must mention the type of data being gathered and what the service may do with that information. Instructions on how parents can give their approval should also be contained within.

The full list of affected apps named in the complaint includes:

  • AvengersNet
  • Disney Story Central
  • Perfect Match
  • Disney Gif
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Cars Lightening League
  • Disney Store Become
  • Color by Disney
  • Disney Crossy Road
  • Club Penguin Island
  • Disney Color and Play
  • Dodo Pop
  • Disney Dream Treats
  • DuckTales: Remastered
  • Disney Build It Frozen
  • Frozen Free Fall
  • Disney Princess: Story Theater
  • Good Dinosaur Storybook Deluxe
  • Disney LOL
  • Frozen Free Fall: Icy Shot
  • Inside Out Thought Bubbles
  • Disney Princess: Charmed Adventures
  • Miles from Tomorrowland: Missions
  • Maleficent Free Fall
  • Olaf’s Adventures
  • Moana Island Life
  • Palace Pets in Whisker Haven
  • Sofia the First Secret Library
  • Where’s My Mickey?
  • Temple Run: Oz
  • Disney Jigsaw Puzzle!
  • Star Wars: Puzzle Droids
  • Sofia the First Color and Play
  • Star Wars: Commander
  • Disney Emoji Blitz
  • Where’s My Water? 2
  • Temple Run: Brave
  • Toy Story: Story Theater
  • The Lion Guard
  • Disney’s Magic Timer by Oral-B
  • Where’s My Water?
  • Zootopia Crime Files: Hidden Object
  • Where’s My Water? Lite/Where’s My Water? Free

However, Disney says the litigation is misguided and proposes to defend it in the court. The company said, “Disney has a vigorous COPPA acquiescence program, and we uphold stringent data gathering and use guidelines for Disney apps developed for families and children. The allegation is rooted on a fundamental misinterpretation of COPPA principles, and we seek to defend this action in Court.”

 

Poonam Bhosale

As Lead of Content department, Poonam follows a 3-year stint as a writer and editor of books, reports, special publications, and others at various organizations such as Brentwood Infoscribe, Grand View Research, and Crest Premedia. Her other interest are in Healthcare and Social Media domains. She is also a contributor to Greater Patchogue Daily. She can be reached at Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | poonam@techicy.com

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