News & Events

A Member of the “Ben Franklin Family” Makes Gaming Safer for your Family

YORK, PA – Do you know what personal information is being captured by games your kids are playing on smartphones or tablets?  You might be surprised to find that many popular games capture device information, location, names, birth dates, and more while your child plays.

As updated on July 1, 2013, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA, demands that mobile game developers must identify parents and seek their approval before capturing any private information when children under 13 are playing their games.  The fines for developers who do not comply can be staggering – up to $16,000.00 per child affected.  But over a year after the law’s enactment, the FTC has not publicly announced any enforcement actions.  Lack of enforcement and difficulty of compliance are reasons why very few games are currently compliant with the law.

According to a December 2012 FTC study on mobile apps for kids, most mobile app developers failed to meet the original COPPA compliance standards set in 2000. The study also found many mobile apps continue to share personal information, such as device ID, geo-location and phone numbers, with third parties without disclosure to parents.

AgeCheq, a new member of Ben Franklin Technology Partner’s portfolio, has created a cloud-based service that provides parents with the ability to manage privacy for children who play games or use educational software on mobile devices, as intended by the COPPA law.  AgeCheq’s compliance service also dramatically eases the effort required for a mobile game developer to comply with the law’s privacy protections.

This week, on the one year anniversary of the updated COPPA law, AgeCheq received the good news that one of the largest mobile ad attribution and analytics networks, Kochava, will be fully integrating AgeCheq’s technology into their network; a service which is already in use by the 550 top app publishers including: Activision, Backflip Studios, BlueShell Games, CBS Interactive, Cyberagent, Disney, DeNA, Gannett/USA Today, GSN, Kiwi Games, Land Rover, MachineZone, Outblaze, and RedBulletin.  Some of these top game publishers have up to hundreds of millions of users, many of whom are children whose parents can now easily manage their online privacy using the AgeCheq technology.