Three tech companies have agreed to pay $3 million in damages for violating children’s privacy in a coloring book app.

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Three tech companies have agreed to pay $3 million in damages for violating children’s privacy in a coloring book app.

Three internet companies will be fined $3 million for allegedly violating regulations safeguarding children’s online privacy with their coloring book app.

The civil penalty was paid to KuuHuub Inc., Kuu Huub Oy, and Recolor Oy, a Canadian company and two Finnish companies, as part of a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

With their coloring book app, ReColor, the companies reportedly broke the FTC Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA). ReColor’s “kids” section allegedly acquired personal information from children under the age of 13 without first obtaining verifiable parental consent. According to the Department of Justice, such data collecting is in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

In addition to the monetary penalty, the corporations must now cease all data gathering operations and destroy any personal information about children that they may have. They must also request that any personal data about children held by third-party ad networks connected through the app be deleted.

In addition, companies must issue refunds to current members who were under the age of 18 at the time of sign-up. They must also notify the app’s users of the civil infraction and keep records going forward to show that they are adhering to the regulations regarding the collecting of child data.

While the aforementioned case resulted in a civil penalty, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Minors says that complaints of criminal exploitation attempts and internet scams targeting children have quadrupled in the last year and a half (NCMEC).

Since the pandemic shut down schools and other public venues, youngsters spent more time on computers and other digital gadgets for education, entertainment, and socialization during that time.

Scammers frequently target children on social media sites like as Facebook, Instagram, and other lesser-known game and chat platforms. Scammers will befriend children and begin asking intimate questions before convincing them to submit personal information or graphic images of themselves.

The scammers then blackmail the children into sending more content, threatening to hurt their parents or report them to the authorities if they do not. Kids may remain silent about the manipulation because they are afraid of causing trouble, according to the NCMEC.

“It was a significant increase over the previous year, and it has put a significant pressure on law enforcement around the world. This is a condensed version of the information.

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