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FTC Reaches Settlement with Social Game Site

CHILDREN’S PRIVACY—U.S.

March 28, 2012

In a press release, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced it has reached a settlement with social game site RockYou for failing "to protect the privacy of its users, allowing hackers to access the personal information of 32 million users" and for allegedly violating the COPPA Rule. The FTC alleges the site collected data from approximately 179,000 children under the age of 13 without parental consent. The settlement bars the company from making "future deceptive claims" about its privacy and data security as well as violating the COPPA Rule. Additionally, the company must pay a $250,000 civil penalty in light of the COPPA violations. FTC Chief Technologist Ed Felton notes the site had "several security problems." In addition to collecting too much information from users, Felton said the site "had several vulnerabilities" and its "internal data management practices were weak."
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