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Zombie Duck Hunt Maker Settles With FTC Over COPPA Case

Zombie Duck Hunt developer Broken Thumbs Apps will pay the Federal Trade Commission a $50K fine over charges that it disclosed the personal information of children under 13.

Frank Cifaldi, Contributor

August 15, 2011

1 Min Read

Zombie Duck Hunt developer Broken Thumb Apps has settled with the Federal Trade Commission following allegations that it violated laws meant to protect children from having personal information exposed on the internet. According to the FTC, the developer's child-targeted Emily's Dress UP and Shop (pictured) allowed Broken Thumb to collect and maintain personal information (specifically a user's personal email address) via an in-game "shout-out" system, without a parent being notified. According to the FTC, this is a violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Additionally, the FTC alleges that Broken Thumbs allowed players to publicly post personal information on its message boards without an accurate publicly posted privacy policy, which the FTC says is another COPPA violation. This is the first time the FTC has intervened on a smartphone application, but certainly not the first time it has hit a game publisher with a COPPA complaint: Disney-owned Playdom recently settled with the Commission over similar allegations covering several games under the now-defunct Acclaim brand.

About the Author(s)

Frank Cifaldi


Frank Cifaldi is a freelance writer and contributing news editor at Gamasutra. His past credentials include being senior editor at 1UP.com, editorial director and community manager for Turner Broadcasting's GameTap games-on-demand service, and a contributing author to publications that include Edge, Wired, Nintendo Official Magazine UK and GamesIndustry.biz, among others. He can be reached at [email protected].

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