Disney has been accused of illegally tracking children while they are playing on popular online apps, a lawsuit claims.
San Francisco mother Amanda Rushing filed a lawsuit on behalf of her child on Thursday accusing Disney of violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
The proposed class action, filed in California Federal Court, claims Rushing's child was illegally tracked while using the Disney Princess Palace Pets app.Rushing claims the app contains an ad-specific software kit embedded in the code, which allows Disney to collect personal information and track online behavior.
The lawsuit alleges that the information collected is then sold to various third-parties who sell targeted online advertising.
Rushing says her child was tracked using the princess pets app but claims the technology is also used in dozens of other apps, including Cars Lightning League, Disney Build It Frozen and Zootopia.
Rushing's attorney, Michael Sobol, said the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act was brought in to protect from this very behavior.
'Disney has failed to safeguard children's personal information and ensure that third-parties' collection of data from children is lawful,' Sobol wrote in the lawsuit.'Congress enacted the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act for very good reasons.
'As a company long-engaged in the practice of engaging – and profiting from – children, Disney needs to make sure its games and apps comply with the law.
'They and the companies they work with always have to obtain verifiable parental consent before extracting kids' data from their mobile devices when kids play Disney's mobile apps.'
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act places restrictions on online sites directed at children under 13. It provides parents the means to halt developers and third-party advertisers from snooping on and profiting from their children.
Disney has not yet commented on the lawsuit.