Lawsuit claims more than 40 Disney apps are spying on kids

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Walt Disney Company is accused of illegally collecting personal information about children who play games on more than 40 popular smartphone apps.

The lawsuit alleges Disney and three of its software developers are in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The law was passed in 1998 to protect the privacy of children online.

Amanda Rushing, a California mother, filed the class-action lawsuit  on Aug. 3 in a United States District Court in San Francisco.

“Most consumers, including parents, do not know that apps created for children are engineered to surreptitiously and unlawfully collect the child-users’ personal information,” the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit claims Disney violated child privacy laws by allowing software companies to install “trackers” in Disney apps, which are used to gather personal data about children. The lawsuit alleges the data is sold to third-parties who use the personal information for targeted advertisements.

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The trackers collect information related to a child’s app usage, the child’s geographical location, and the internet browsing history outside of the apps, according to the lawsuit.

“Children are especially vulnerable to online tracking and the resulting behavioral advertising,” the lawsuit said. “Disney never obtained verifiable parental consent to collect, use, or disclose her child’s personal information.”

Disney had not responded to FOX13's request for a response to the lawsuit as of Monday evening. In a statement to the Washington Post, Disney said the lawsuit is misguided, and the company intends to defend it in court.

The following games are named in the lawsuit:

  • Disney Princess Palace Pets
  • AvengersNet
  • Beauty and the Beast: Perfect Match
  • Cars Lightening League
  • Club Penguin Island
  • Color by Disney
  • Disney Crossy Road
  • Disney Dream Treats
  • Disney Emoji Blitz
  • Disney Gif
  • Disney Jigsaw Puzzle!
  • Disney LOL
  • Disney Princess: Story Theater
  • Disney Store Become
  • Disney Story Central
  • Disney's Magic Timer by Oral-B
  • Disney Princess: Charmed Adventures
  • Dodo Pop
  • Disney Build It Frozen
  • Duck Tales: Remastered
  • Frozen Free Fall
  • Frozen Free Fall: Icy Shot
  • Good Dinosaur Storybook Deluxe
  • Inside Out Thought Bubbles
  • Maleficent Free Fall
  • Miles from Tomorrowland: Missions
  • Moana Island Life
  • Olaf's Adventures
  • Palace Pets in Whisker Haven
  • Sofia the First Color and Play
  • Sofia the First Secret Library
  • Star Wars: Puzzle Droids
  • Star Wars: Commander
  • Temple Run: Oz
  • Temple Run: Brave
  • The Lion Guard
  • Toy Story: Story Theater
  • Where's My Water?/Where's My Water? Lite/Where's My Water? Free
  • Where's My Water? 2
  • Where's My Mickey?
  • Zootopia Crime Files: Hidden Object