Google Planning to Offer Accounts to a Younger Demographic

In what could potentially become a controversial move, Google has plans to offer accounts to children under the age of 13 for the first time. Google services such as Gmail and YouTube do not currently offer accounts to kids (although kids can log on anonymously or pose as adults). Now Google is planning a new approach that encourages parents to open accounts for their children, and in the process control how they use Google services and the information that is collected about their kids. Continue reading Google Planning to Offer Accounts to a Younger Demographic

COPPA Changes Could Affect Mobile Game Development

The Federal Trade Commission has made changes to the COPPA laws in regards to the definition of a “children’s app.” Changes to the online privacy rules will go into effect July 1, with an emphasis on data collection practices, which could mean that requesting information or images from mobile devices could be viewed as a violation. Several developers are scaling back on game production in order to avoid being penalized by the FTC. Continue reading COPPA Changes Could Affect Mobile Game Development

Online Privacy Protection Act Applies to Mobile App for First Time

  • The Federal Trade Commission ruled Monday that W3 Innovations, the company behind popular mobile applications for kids, including “Emily’s Girl World” and “Emily’s Dress Up,” should pay a $50,000 penalty for collecting personal information from kids without parental permission.
  • The commission found the company in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, marking the first time that law has been applied to a mobile application.
  • “The F.T.C.’s COPPA Rule requires parental notice and consent before collecting children’s personal information online, whether through a Web site or a mobile app,” explained Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the commission. “Companies must give parents the opportunity to make smart choices when it comes to their children’s sharing of information on smart phones.”
  • The decision coincides with a period of increased concern about privacy and mobile technology, as the industry considers new privacy protections to fend off potential federal regulation.

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