New Mexico Sues Google, Several Ad Firms, Game Maker; Alleges Firms Collected Data on Children Unlawfully
New Mexico has sued Google, several advertising firms, and a popular game maker alleging that the firms enabled or participated in the unlawful collection of data from children.
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, fights for privacy on the internet as concerns over data collection mount. The citation for the lawsuit stems from a 1998 federal law called the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
COPPA makes it illegal for firms to collect data about individuals 13 years old or younger without verifiable consent from their parents/guardians. The lawsuit focuses on Tiny Lab Productions (TLP), a popular game maker, and alleges that their children targeted games collected data such as their location and then sent them to third party advertising firms.
New Mexico State Attorney General Hector Balderas stated the following: “These multi-million-dollar tech companies partnering with app developers are taking advantage of New Mexican children.” The suit also alleges that Google enabled TLP’s actions by labeling these games as safe and appropriate for children.
Tiny Lab has since removed its games and has stated that they are not in violation of the COPPA.