Center for Digital Democracy Calls on FTC to Investigate SpongeBob App for COPPA Violations

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot



    As discovered by The Next Web, the Center for Digital Democracy today asked the FTC to investigate a children's game made by Nickelodeon and PlayFirst for deceptive marketing.

    According to the advocacy group, SpongeBob Diner Dash violates the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. The game, which is aimed at kids, is an iPhone and iPad app that can be found in the "Kids Games" section of the App Store, and though it claims to comply with COPPA, the CDD says that it does not.
    The filing, which asks that the Federal Trade Commission investigate how the offending app collects data, comes just a week after the FTC released a report on the privacy practices of apps aimed at children. Following the report, the FTC began a non-public investigation to discover if app developers that produce games for children are violating Federal law.

    SpongeBob Diner Dash and SpongeBob Diner Dash Deluxe, the offending games, have currently been removed from the U.S. App Store.

    Article Link: Center for Digital Democracy Calls on FTC to Investigate SpongeBob App for COPPA Violations
  2. DrFu79, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012

    macrumors member

    Those sneaky bastards. Well deserved to investigate this.
  3. macrumors 601


    "FTC to Investigate SpongeBob"

    That part of the title wins "Funniest news title of the week".
  4. macrumors member

    The link is broken; please mind the apostrophes. This is just another good example why you should never use special characters in links (
  5. macrumors 6502a

    STiNG Operation

    Could be a lack of thought put into the game or they are phishing children on purpose. Either way they messed up big.
  6. macrumors regular

    Scumbags...shut 'em down! On the other hand, isn't Spongebob just for college kids? :p
  7. Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member


    Should be fixed now...thanks!
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Hello government. Stop regulating business and damaging the economy. Sincerely, SpongeBob and friends.
  9. macrumors regular


    If they think that's the only one, they should investigate the My Little Pony game I downloaded for my daughter. I was surprised at how much personal info and social networking is required to play this game (supposedly for kids). Seriously.. What 7 yr old has a Facebook account??
  10. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Why is anybody surprised that there turned out to be something fishy about this app?
  11. macrumors 6502


    Major edit issues on the site.
  12. macrumors 68000

    major is right
  13. macrumors G3


    One of my school mates created one for her son, who won't be born for another two months. And yes she posts in 'his voice'. Barf
  14. macrumors 6502a


    That is truly sad.
  15. macrumors Nehalem


    There is some penguin game a 5 year old played on my phone and she effortlessly managed to buy add-ons using her full name and home address. I'm glad these apps are being looked into. Why does any game need all of that info?
  16. macrumors 6502a

    I think this needs screenshots (or it didn't happen?). I haven't used any apps that ask for outside information unless they needed external CC info, for buying items.

    Facebook and social media is a no-brainier, but those have their own compliant privacy policies. Complaining about "log in" is childish.

    Are these games making kids play online? If that is the case, then full name, and other verifiable information is REQUIRED so they can prove they are not connecting creepy adult TO minors. For LEO purposes almost every kid site HAS to have audit able information. Maybe somebody didn't do the proper "get your parent to fill out" wording.

    I'd want screen shots in context before jumping to "ZOMG privacy violations".

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