FTC fines TinyCo $300,000 over COPPA data violations in pre-2013 games

Beware the kids

FTC fines TinyCo $300,000 over COPPA data violations in pre-2013 games

Given the amount of coverage generated when the issue was raised as part of the law's 2013 update, developers shouldn't be surprised about the level of fines that can be applied for breaching the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

Certainly, the FTC has now stamped its authority on the situation, with website Yelp fined $450,000 and mobile developer TinyCo fined $300,000.

They are the first companies caught out in what's expected to be wider crackdown.

Strict controls

COPPA is about the protection of data from children 13 and under, and can fine companies up to $16,000 per child for holding such information.

TinyCo said that all its games released since 2013 have been COPPA-compliant, and it's deleted all email addresses collected from older games - Mermaid Resort, Tiny Pets, Tiny Zoo Friends, Tiny Village and Tiny Monsters - and updated their social identity system.

It added that the $300,000 fine related to "an infraction with our social identity system, developed in 2010, and how it implemented email collection in older titles.

"Some of these titles were deemed to be "child directed with a general audience" under the FTC's rules."

[source: TinyCo]

Business Development Executive/Staff Writer