Lawsuit Alleges Disney Spys on Kids

A class action lawsuit filed last week in the federal district court for Northern California alleges that Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and its partners violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and seeks an injunction prohibiting the companies from either collecting or disclosing the data with the parental consent. The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages and legal fees.

Disney and its partners — Upsight, Unity and Kochava — are alleged to have created mobile apps that illegally collect data about the apps’ users, including users under the age of 13. That collected data may then be used for advertising or other commercial purposes.

In a statement reported in The Washington Post on Monday, Disney said:

Disney has a robust COPPA compliance program, and we maintain strict data collection and use policies for Disney apps created for children and families. The complaint is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles, and we look forward to defending this action in Court.

A total of 42 apps were named in the lawsuit. Many are wildly popular according the Post’s story:

Many of Disney’s gaming apps are immensely popular. According to the Google Play store, “Where’s my Water? 2” has been installed between 100 million and 500 million times; “Moana Island Life” has been installed between 1 million and 5 million times; and, in another measure of the company’s online success, “Disney Princess Palace Pets” has been reviewed more than 6,000 times by iOS users.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a San Francisco resident and her child and seeks to represent consumers in 35 states. The case name is Rushing et al v The Walt Disney Company et al and the case number is 3:17-cv-04419.

Here’s the full list of apps named in the lawsuit.

  • AvengersNet
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Perfect Match
  • Cars Lightening League
  • Club Penguin Island
  • Color by Disney
  • Disney Color and Play
  • Disney Crossy Road
  • Disney Dream Treats
  • Disney Emoji Blitz
  • Disney Gif
  • Disney Jigsaw Puzzle!
  • Disney LOL
  • Disney Princess: Story Theater
  • Disney Store Become
  • Disney Story Central
  • Disney’s Magic Timer by Oral-B
  • Disney Princess: Charmed Adventures
  • Dodo Pop
  • Disney Build It Frozen
  • DuckTales: Remastered
  • Frozen Free Fall
  • Frozen Free Fall: Icy Shot
  • Good Dinosaur Storybook Deluxe
  • Inside Out Thought Bubbles
  • Maleficent Free Fall
  • Miles from Tomorrowland: Missions
  • Moana Island Life
  • Olaf’s Adventures
  • Palace Pets in Whisker Haven
  • Sofia the First Color and Play
  • Sofia the First Secret Library
  • Star Wars: Puzzle DroidsTM
  • Star WarsTM: Commander
  • Temple Run: Oz
  • Temple Run: Brave
  • The Lion Guard
  • Toy Story: Story Theater
  • Where’s My Water?
  • Where’s My Mickey?
  • Where’s My Water? 2
  • Where’s My Water? Lite/Where’s My Water? Free
  • Zootopia Crime Files: Hidden Object