Disney's wholly-owned social game development studio Playdom has agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission a settlement totaling $3 million for its part in collecting the private information of underage customers. The settlement is related to games operated by Acclaim (which Playdom bought last year) that the FTC said violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC claims that 403,000 children registered on Playdom's general audience sites between 2006 and 2010, with an additional 821,000 signing up for kid-friendly MMO Pony Stars.
During that time period Acclaim apparently illegally collected the email addresses of children and didn't provide the proper amount of parental controls.
"Let's be clear: Whether you are a virtual world, a social network, or any other interactive site that appeals to kids, you owe it to parents and their children to provide proper notice and get proper consent," said FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz in a statement Friday. "It's the law, it's the right thing to do, and, as today's settlement demonstrates, violating COPPA will not come cheap."