On September 16, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) brought a complaint against TinyCo Inc for violation of the Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 312.
16 C.F.R. Part 312 applies to any operator of a commercial website or online service that has actual knowledge that it collects, uses, and/or discloses personal information from children. Among others, the Rule mandates that website operators meet specific requirements prior to collecting online, using, or disclosing personal information from children, in order to strengthen their personal information protection.
TinyCo offers a number of mobile apps for download including apps directed to children. Through these apps TinyCo collected tens of thousands of email addresses, sending and/or receiving protected information.
According to the FTC’s complaint, TinyCo violated the COPPA by not taking any step to determine whether it had collected personal information from these children, or, if it had, to delete them, provide the required notices, or obtain the required parental consent.
TinyCo, Inc. eventually agreed to settle FTC charges by paying a $300,000 civil penalty.
FTC complaint can be found here.
Order for Injunction and Civil Penalty Judgment can be found here.