New Mexico AG: Tech-companies tracking children through gaming apps


New Mexico’s attorney general has a new warning for parents. He says a popular video game app developer could be putting kids at risk, even letting predators know where they live.

According to Attorney General Hector Balderas, although a lot of the most damaging things on the internet do happen accidentally, our children more times than not end up as the targets.

“Parents should be aware that there are companies out there that are not only tracking their children but have access to very important information,” he said. 

Tuesday, the AG filed a lawsuit against the popular gaming app developer known as Tiny Lab Productions. It also lists a handful of other tech companies as defendants including Google and Twitter.

“Federal law and federal actors are not doing a good enough job at protecting these young children,” Balderas argues.

Balderas said the apps and games designed by the Lithuania-based Tiny Labs contain illegal tracking software.

Under federal law, it is illegal to collect personal data from children under 13 without parental consent.

“So you could have a young child in your own home sharing personal information, their location, their images innocently, and yet no one is enforcing the law,” he said.

The AG’s office said it used a simple internet search to turn up nearly 100 Tiny Lab gaming apps marketed by Google. Balderas said what concerns him even more is that these companies will sell the personal information they obtain, allowing kids all around U.S. to be tracked.

“Children should be off limits when it comes to profiteering,” Balderas said. “There is strict liability. These companies know better and they should not be profiteering off young children.”

Balderas said it’s likely that more attorneys general will end up filing their own lawsuits.

For more information about how to limit ad tracking on Android/Google mobile devices, click here.

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