Playdom Hit With $3 Million Fine for Privacy Violations

Playdom Hit With $3 Million Fine for Privacy Violations

image

Social games studio Playdom will eat a $3 million fine for violating the U.S. Child Online Privacy Protection Act with several of its games.

Playdom was accused by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission of collecting information including kids' ages and email address in several of its games and then posting that information online without parental consent. The games in question were originally operated by Acclaim Games, prior to its acquisition by Playdom in May 2010, including the now-defunct Ponystars. Former Acclaim Games CEO Howard Marks was also named in the case.

The FTC said that 821,000 children had registered for Pony Stars, along with 403,000 who signed up for its "general audience sites." How much user information actually ended up floating around on the internet isn't clear but whatever the amount, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said the settlement serves notice to game companies that they "owe it to parents and their children to provide proper notice and get proper consent."

"It's the law, it's the right thing to do, and, as today's settlement demonstrates, violating COPPA will not come cheap," he added.

Three million bucks is an awful lot of money, sure, but is a fine like this really "not cheap" in the grand scheme of things? In July 2010, Disney spent more than $563 million to acquire Playdom, with another $200 million on offer if the it specific growth targets. So if Disney ends up paying full pop for Playdom, the FTC settlement could represent less than one half of one percent of the purchase price; in other words, it's a rounding error. I'm not sure how much of a point about the importance of online privacy rights that's really going to make.

Source: Kotaku

Permalink

Where the hell is the FTC with Zynga's and Facebook's careless regard for privacy?
And $3 million is a joke for a Disney property. This isn't saying a damn thing and people that want their stuff kept private best get off that site and then change what info they can, like new email addys.

samsonguy920:
Where the hell is the FTC with Zynga's and Facebook's careless regard for privacy?
And $3 million is a joke for a Disney property. This isn't saying a damn thing and people that want their stuff kept private best get off that site and then change what info they can, like new email addys.

They're playing farmville.

OT: This is no different to things like the Oil companies buying from nations with embargoes imposed on them. They won't even notice the fine in the face of the profit.

Andy Chalk:
So if Disney ends up paying full pop for Playdom, the FTC settlement could represent less than one half of one percent of the purchase price; in other words, it's a rounding error. I'm not sure how much of a point about the importance of online privacy rights that's really going to make.

3 million dollars, that's basically nothing. Literally, Disney will just blink and laugh. Yes, Disney, as in the company that makes so much money it has to weigh it every day because counting it is too slow.

3 million is pocket change for Disney but what else is new? I just want to know where exactly this information was being posted, and with whom this personal information was being shared with?

manythings:

samsonguy920:
Where the hell is the FTC with Zynga's and Facebook's careless regard for privacy?
And $3 million is a joke for a Disney property. This isn't saying a damn thing and people that want their stuff kept private best get off that site and then change what info they can, like new email addys.

They are playing farmville.

OT: This is no different to things like the oil companies buying from nations with embargoes imposed on them. They won't even notice the fine in the face of the profit.

Then I wish drought and predators or whatever bad things happen in that thing some people call a game on them.

OT:Not to mention oil companies still have the luxury of a cap on lawsuits per year that can be put on them.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here