New Jersey News

Educational app maker sued over privacy concerns

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa and the state Division of Consumer Affairs filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against a mobile app developer they say is stealing personal information.

The lawsuit accuses 27x7digital, LLC, of using its educational games to collect personal information from children, then transmitting that information to a third-party company without notifying parents or obtaining their consent.

The lawsuit is the first filed as part of the division's ongoing initiative against Internet privacy violations and acts of cyber-fraud.

"Mobile devices can capture and transmit a wealth of personal information about users, including their identities and even their geographic location," Chiesa said. "When we find that companies are using this ability to transmit information about children without their parents' knowledge or consent, we will take immediate action."

27x7digital is the developer and operator of the "TeachMe" series of apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The series includes "TeachMe: Toddler," "TeachMe: Kindergarten," "TeachMe: 1st Grade" and "TeachMe: 2nd Grade."

"We appreciate the educational component of these apps, but under no circumstances is it acceptable to transmit identifying information about toddlers or first and second graders without the informed consent of their parents," Consumer Affairs director Eric Kanefsky said.

The "TeachMe" apps are among the top-selling applications in the education category of The App Store.

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Online:

  • FTC report on privacy concerns in kids' mobile apps
  • New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs

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