The state of New Mexico is suing Google, Twitter, Tiny Lab, and other app developers for illegally gathering data on users under the age of 13 without parental consent.
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas stated tech companies including Google, Twitter, and other app developers are violating the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), by gathering and selling data on child users.
“These apps can track where children live, play, and go to school with incredible precision,” said Balderas in a press release. “These multi-million-dollar tech companies partnering with app developers are taking advantage of New Mexican children, and the unacceptable risk of data breach and access from third parties who seek to exploit and harm our children will not be tolerated in New Mexico.”
The lawsuit, filed on September 12, follows a University of California, Berkeley study which analyzed just under 6,000 children’s apps. According to the study, many of the apps tested were found to potentially violate COPPA.
The lawsuit also accuses app industry companies including Twitter subsidiary MoPub, AerServ, InMobi PTE, AppLovin, and IronSource of gathering data on child users without permission.