Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
COPPA Child Privacy Violations Lawsuit

Child Online Privacy Violations Lawsuit Filed Against The Walt Disney Company

San Francisco, CA−(BusinessWire)−On behalf of parents in California, the law firms of Lieff Cabraser and Carney Bates & Pulliam have filed a federal class action child privacy protection lawsuit alleging that the Walt Disney Company violates privacy protection laws by exporting children’s personal information from mobile games aimed at children to advertising networks without the parental consent required by federal and state law. Parents concerned about possible tracking and improper exploitation of their children’s data in Disney and other gaming apps should click here to contact a Lieff Cabraser digital privacy lawyer to learn more about their rights.

Allegations in the Lawsuit Against Disney

The suit is brought against the Walt Disney Company (“Disney”) and Upsight, Unity, and Kochava, the ad tech companies that embedded software in Disney’s apps aimed at children to track, collect, and export children’s personal information. The complaint alleges the software captures children’s personal information along with information about their online behavior, which is then sold to third party companies which track the children’s behavior across multiple apps and devices for subsequent ad targeting.

“Congress enacted the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) for very good reasons,” said Michael W. Sobol, a Lieff Cabraser partner and one of the attorneys who filed the lawsuit. “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 Federal Child Data Protection Laws

In 1999, Congress enacted COPPA to protect the safety and privacy of children online, and the autonomy of their parents, by providing parents the means to halt developers and third-party advertisers from snooping on and profiting from their children.

Many parents are unaware that countless web and smartphone apps, including those created for children, are engineered to unlawfully exploit and commercialize underage users’ activity through hidden tracking technologies. As alleged in the Disney complaint, these technologies unlawfully and surreptitiously collect and send data, including the users’ personal information, from the mobile devices to third-parties. App developers and other third-parties then reap millions of dollars in profit from this personal information through lucrative targeted advertising.

The parent of a minor child brought the lawsuit seeking an injunction to force the defendants to cease tracking the personal information of children without obtaining parental consent and to bring defendants in compliance with COPPA. The parents also seek damages as may be permitted under state law.

Notice to Parents on Child Privacy Violations in Games and Apps

If your child uses an internet-connected game device to play games from Disney or any other company and you suspect your child’s personal information may have been improperly acquired or used, you may contact us about your potential case.  Our no-obligation review is free, and the information you provide will help us hold companies accountable for COPPA privacy violations and the exploitation of children and/or any other data improprieties that have occurred.

About Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser is committed to helping parents protect their children, their privacy, and their children’s information in a world where electronic toys and games and digital devices with inherent security vulnerabilities are growing more and more pervasive. Our lawyers possess extensive experience and the requisite technological background to successfully assess and litigate all manner of privacy claims. We represent individuals in precedent-setting cases impacting hundreds of millions of Americans against prominent technology, social media, and entertainment corporations for alleged violations of digital privacy rights, data overreaching, and the failure to protect critically-sensitive information.

About Carney Bates & Pulliam, PLLC

Carney Bates & Pulliam is a law firm based in Little Rock, Arkansas that specializes in class action litigation. From consumer protection to environmental hazards to civil rights to data privacy, Carney Bates & Pulliam achieves the maximum impact for the greatest number of people. The firm’s attorneys have a wide array of litigation experience and specialized legal knowledge.  The diverse interests and backgrounds within the firm enable us to help clients across a vast spectrum. Carney Bates & Pulliam’s ability to analyze legal and societal trends means that our practice areas keep growing and evolving, changing to fit the needs of our clients.

Source/Contact

Douglas I. Cuthbertson
Nicholas Diamand
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
212 355-9500