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Not So Cute: Popular Children’s Apps Allegedly Collected Young Kids’ Data Without Parental Consent

  • The FTC reached a settlement with app developer HyperBeard, Inc. and related individuals (collectively “HyperBeard”) to resolve allegations that it illegally collected personal information from children under the age of 13 in violation of the FTC Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) Rule.
  • The complaint, filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC, alleged that HyperBeard, a developer of popular children’s apps like Axolochi, Clawbert, and NomNoms, allowed third-party ad networks to collect persistent identifiers to track app users and target advertising to children without obtaining parental consent or even notifying parents of the information collection.
  • Under the terms of the proposed stipulated order, HyperBeard is subject to a civil penalty of $4 million that will be partially suspended upon payment of $150,000, is required to delete the personal information it collected from children under the age of 13 in violation of COPPA, and must notify and obtain verifiable consent from parents for any app that collects personal information from children under the age of 13.