According to the CDD’s complaint, the app collected children’s email addresses and other personal information without requiring children to ask their parents first, and violates COPPA’s marketing restrictions by using push notifications. Nickelodeon temporarily pulled the app from the Apple and Google Play stores while it investigated the complaint. But, today, the Nickelodeon resubmitted the app, claiming that it was unfairly accused of COPPA violations.
Online privacy—particularly with social media—has been a constant concern, but really reached fever-pitch over the past couple of weeks. First there was the Facebook hysteria over copyright protections. Then, just a couple of days ago, Instagram learned what happens when a sleeping giant is rudely awoken with an announcement that advertisers will gain more access to photos on its site. In case you haven’t heard, the results aren’t pretty, with National Geographic, the hacktivist group Anonymous, and countless individual users calling for a boycott. In response to the outrage, Instagram pulled a Qwickster-esque turnaround and promised to remove the offending policy language, but even that has not smothered the fire. It seems that society is now attuned to privacy issues online and more than willing to read the fine print.