NJ App Developer Caught Transmitting Kids’ Personal Data
‘24x7digital,’ a leading developer of children’s apps, has agreed to stop collecting and transmitting the personal data of children without notifying parents and obtaining parental consent according to New Jersey Attorney General Jeff Chiesa. He says the firm is also ensuring the destruction of all data that was previously collected and transmitted to third parties.
The State’s lawsuit, filed in federal court against Los Angeles-based 24x7digital LLC and its owners and operators, Mark Yamashita and Rei Yoshioka, is the first filed by the State Division of Law pursuant to the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). It is also the first suit filed as a result of the Division of Consumer Affairs’ ongoing initiative against Internet privacy violations and acts of cyber-fraud.
“This is a clear victory for children’s privacy in the age of mobile devices and the easy transfer of personal information,” says Chiesa. “Parents should be aware that smartphones and similar devices are able to gather a great deal of information about users, including their identities and even their geographic location. We are proactively investigating mobile apps in order to protect consumers and their privacy.”
24×7 and its operators have warranted that, as a result of the State’s lawsuit, they have already stopped collecting personal data from the users of their popular apps, and that they have destroyed all personal data the company previously collected in violation of COPPA. The company has also directed the third-party data analytics company, to which it transmitted children’s personal information, to destroy that information.
In addition, 24×7 is prohibited under the Consent Decree from collecting or transmitting children’s personal information in the future, without providing notice on its website or in its apps about the types of information to be collected and the ways it is to be used; without directly notifying parents; and without obtaining verifiable parental consent.