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Kids’ Mobile App Triggers NJ Lawsuit

An educational mobile app marketed to children is the object of a lawsuit by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, which claims that it records children’s personal data and sends it to third-party companies without parental knowledge or consent.

California-based 24x7digital LLC is named in the suit filed in Newark. The company developed and markets the widely popular “Teach Me” apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The apps target specific age groups by scholastic grade, starting with toddlers and kindergarten.

The suit contends that the apps encourage children to enter their names and photos in the creation of player profiles. That information, and the unique device identification number (UDID) of the mobile device, is then sent to a data analytics company, according to the litigation.

New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa says that the alleged covert transfer of data violates the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and it’s the state’s first lawsuit connected to the law that’s been on the books since 1998.

“When COPPA was introduced in the U.S. Senate,” said Chiesa in a statement, “a total of 3 million children younger than 18 were using the Internet. Today, according to the United States Census, approximately  61.7 million children younger than 18 have Internet access.”

Anyone who suspects being a victim of a corporate scam can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Log onto http://www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov or call 1-800-242-5846.

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