In a recent consent order, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs settled an investigation involving Dokogeo, Inc., a California based mobile application developer.
Under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) websites and online services which collect information from children younger than 13 are subject to certain parental notice and consent requirements.
In the consent order, the company denies that the app is directed at children, however, the order requires the company to clearly and conspicuously disclose in its apps and on the home page of its websites the types of personal information it collects, the manner in which it uses the information and whether it shares information with third parties. Additionally, the order requires the company to verify that anyone using any of its apps that collect personal information is older than 13. The order further specifies that if the company fails to comply with the restraints and conditions of the settlement agreement, or violates consumer fraud or child online privacy laws, at any point in the next 10 years it will be responsible for a $25,000 “suspended penalty.”
This matter, and numerous others throughout the country, highlight the need for companies to review their data collection practices and privacy policies to ensure COPPA compliance.