Parents probably thought the Smurfberries debacle was the nadir of their kids' phone-gaming, but one developer has just been fined $50,000 by the FTC for illegally collecting data such as emails and names.
Broken Thumbs Apps makes games such as Zombie Duck Hunt, Truth or Dare and Emily's Dress Up—games that attract kids, basically. Not every kid owns his/her own iOS device, so it's not just firstname.lastname@example.org who was affected by the ill-gathering of data.
To the app developer's credit, they settled quickly with the FTC, knowing that having collected over 30,000 email addresses doesn't make them look too hot. Of more importance however is that the games required kids to enter their names, which contravenes the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Broken Thumbs Apps is deleting the data now, and has promised to lift its game in the future.
As iOS devices (indeed, any device) are increasingly being marketed as gaming devices, developers will need to check, double check, and triple check that they're toeing the line when it comes to data protection—particularly when they're aimed at children. [FTC via Ars Technica]
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