A concerned mother from California filed a lawsuit against Disney on August 3rd of 2017, claiming her child’s privacy was violated while using a Disney app. The child was reportedly playing the “Disney Princess Palace Pets” game, when the mom suspected personal information was being collected from her child’s online activity.
This lawsuit released by the Hollywood Reporter discusses that other Disney apps other than the “Palace Pets” game also violate children’s privacy. Some apps include Club Penguin Island, Frozen Free Fall, Disney Emoji Blitz, Disney’s Magic Timer by Oral-B, Disney Color and Play, and dozens of other games.
The attorney handling this case informed users that app developers are able to track children’s online behavior for targeted advertising. However, this type of targeting violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which states that developers are not allowed to collect personal information for children under the age of 13 without parental consent.
The lawsuit states, “This is an action brought by and on behalf parents of children who, while playing online games via smartphone apps, have had their personally identifying information exfiltrated by The Walt Disney Company and its partners, for future commercial exploitation, in direct violation of the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Disney has control over and responsibility for any advertising and data mining permitted by or undertaken in the Game Tracking Apps. Disney has failed to safeguard children’s personal information and ensure that third-parties’ collection of data from children is lawful."
The Hollywood Reporter did reach out for comment. Disney has not yet responded to their request. If the company does issue a response, this article will be updated accordingly.
Disney was also sued earlier this year over the release of the “Beauty and the Beast” movie. After Disney faced outrage for showing an openly gay character in the remake, the company faced a lawsuit for an unrelated reason.