Recently, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it has settled charges against RockYou, a game and entertainment website. The FTC alleged that RockYou knowingly collected email addresses and passwords and other information from 179,000 children without their parents’ consent. It also alleged that RockYou failed to employ adequate security features to protect the information of its 32 million users. The FTC claimed that RockYou’s actions violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule and Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair and deceptive trade acts. As part of its settlement, RockYou agreed to pay $250,000.
In addition to paying $250,000, under the proposed settlement RockYou agreed to implement a data security program, to direct users to an FTC website that provides guidance on protecting children’s privacy, and to avoid making any future deceptive claims regarding privacy and data security. Some of RockYou’s settlement obligations extend for twenty years, while others last a shorter length of time.
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