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    Update: App Developer Settles with NJ Attorney General on Children’s Privacy

    Last month, the New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced that his office and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs have filed a federal suit “against a mobile app developer whose educational games allegedly collect personal information from children, then transmit the information to a third-party company without notifying parents or obtaining their consent.” The suit concerned the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 6501-6508, which was passed in 1998.

    Now, Chisea’s office has announced a settlement with the app developer, 24x7digital LLC:

    Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that 24x7digital LLC, 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; and to ensure the destruction of all data that was previously collected and transmitted to third parties.

    “This is a clear victory for children’s privacy in the age of mobile devices and the easy transfer of personal information,” Attorney General Chiesa said. “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. […]

    Attorney General Chiesa noted that the Division of Consumer Affairs is continuing its investigation into other mobile applications and their possible unlawful sharing of users’ private information.

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