Electronic toy company VTech to pay $650,000 over child's privac - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Electronic toy company VTech to pay $650,000 over child's privacy rule violations

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MADISON, Wis. (WKOW) -

Toymaker VTech is agreeing to settle for a steep fine after allegedly taking children's personal information without parental consent.

The company reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission to pay a fine of $650,000 after allegedly collecting "personal information of hundreds of thousands of children" through its Kid Connect mobile app. The FTC says the company did so "without providing direct notice and obtaining their parent's consent."

The personal information included children's first and last names, email addresses, dates of birth, and genders.

The settlement comes after the company suffered a data breach in 2015. As of November 2015, about 2.25 million parents had registered and created accounts on VTech's platform for almost three million children.

The FTC says any apps, online services, or websites that are directed to children under 13 years old must get a parent's approval before they can collect, use, or disclose kids' personal information. They must also have a privacy policy that is easy to find and understand.

The toymaker says while they agree to pay the fine they do "not admit any violations of law or liability." They also say that their smart devices and app have been designed to be the "perfect tech toy for kids" with children's safety and security in mind.

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