Texas State AG Weighs in on Children’s Online Privacy
Texas Attorney General (AG) Ken Paxton announced a settlement with an app developer over concerns that the developer’s apps infringed children’s privacy.
The developer, Juxta Labs, Inc., offers a range of mobile apps and games. According to the AG’s press release, the company’s apps and social media were easy for children of any age to access. Some of the apps offered free children’s games that used advertisements and in-app purchases, and transmitted personal information (including internet protocol addresses and geolocation information). One app in particular – Jott – has apparently become popular among teens because it allows message exchange without resorting to either Wi-Fi or cellular networks (instead, it can operate via a Bluetooth mesh network).
The settlement resolves alleged violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and includes specific commitments to comply with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The Company agreed to implement age-screening and pay a penalty of $30,000.
Following on the heels of a recent settlement by the New York Attorney General, it is clear that state regulators, as well as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), are closely reviewing children’s privacy practices.