The federal trade commission had accused 3 dating apps of violating laws by allowing kids under the age of 13 to sign up. Following this incident, Google and Apple took strict measures by deleting these apps.
The 3 dating apps, namely: Meet24, FastMeet, and Meet4U were operated by the same Ukraine Company named Wildec. The company was warned by the Federal Trade Commission as it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Under this act, the company was supposed to have parental consent before taking the personal data from kids under the age of 13. Further, it also deviates from the FTC act that preserves the activities that do not cause substantial consumer injury.
In the last year, the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood was responsible for filling of complaints by consumer groups at the FTC. The complaints were regarding how companies like Google and Facebook collected information from kids and used it to build a market for their apps and services.
The commission said that the data collected by Wildec’s 3 apps included the user’s personal data like birth date, user’s email addresses, photos, and their real-time location and date. Although Wildec’s policies didn’t allow kids aged less than 13 to sign up, in reality, these young users had no problem in setting up their account. Now that the apps are banned, the adult users on this app who had contacted these minor users will have criminal charges imposed on them.
In the warning issued by FTC, the company was asked to remove the personal data on the young users immediately and had called out for a consumer alert notifying the parents. Yet, FTC has declared a possibility that these apps might emerge again with an update that will strictly allow only adults to have an account for dating, in the near future.