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June 23, 2021
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Parents take  Subway Surfers  devs to court over alleged misuse of kids' data

Parents take Subway Surfers devs to court over alleged misuse of kids' data

August 8, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

Parents in both New York and California have filed a class action lawsuit against Danish game companies Sybo and Kiloo (along with a bunch of ad companies) alleging that their games send kids' personal data to other companies without parental consent.

The lawsuit prominently cites COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protectin Act), which is a good reminder to game devs that COPPA exists and is still very much a thing that your games should comply with if there's a chance kids could play them.

It's also notable that the top game named in this lawsuit is Sybo and Kiloo's flagship free-to-play mobile game Subway Surfers, which as PocketGamer points out has surpassed well over a billion downloads.

The two plaintiffs in the case (Michael McDonald in California, Tamara Draut in New York) both say they have children who played the game while under the age of 13, and allege their personal data was taken and distributed to advertising companies in violation of COPPA. They seek a trial by jury and are hoping to win damages, an end to the use of the relevant personal data by other companies, and a court order barring the defendants from such practices in the future.

In the years since COPPA debuted the Federal Trade Commission has repeatedly fined developers for making non-compliant games. For more insight into how to make your games COPPA-compliant, look back at the Gamasutra blog of Roy Smith, founder of COPPA compliance aid AgeCheq.

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