With another day comes another L to some company in the gaming industry. The entertainment giant Disney is the latest company to be caught up in a scandal involving video games. Disney is being sued over claims that some of its gaming apps are collecting personal information from its young players and then sharing that information illegally with advertisers.
Word on the street is that Disney is listed as a defendant in the suit, alongside three other tech companies. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that Disney is violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which protects children’s privacy through online sites and apps. The plaintiffs are looking for an injunction that stops Disney and its partners from disclosing the information without parental consent and to collect for punitive damages and legal fees.
According to the lawsuit, the game in question are ones like Disney Princess Palace Pets and Where’s My Water 2 have “trackers” programmed in that allows Disney to “withdraw that information off of smart devices for advertising and other commercial purposes.” A Disney spokesperson says that the lawsuit is just based on a “fundamental misunderstanding” of how COPPA works.
This isn’t the first time that something like this has happened. In 2014, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff developer TinyCo. agreed to pay a $300,000 fine to settle charges brought against it from the FTC over claims that it violated COPPA standards.