NEW YORK - The Federal Trade Commission announced a $50,000 settlement yesterday with a developer of mobile applications for children. The developer had been accused of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting information from children who used the applications without their parents’ permission.
The case was the commission’s first to involve mobile applications, or apps. The accusations included collecting and storing children’s e-mail addresses and allowing children to post personal information on public message boards.
The company, W3 Innovations, which owns Broken Thumbs Apps, created mobile games and apps for children including Emily’s Girl World, Emily’s Dress Up, and Emily’s Runway High Fashion.
According to the commission, the apps were downloaded more than 50,000 times by children younger than 13.
In addition to the $50,000 penalty, the company will be required to delete the personal information it collected.
The mobile technology and advertising industry is increasing privacy protections on devices, hoping to fend off potential federal regulations.