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2 - Sbdd Rfi and Appendices Final

2 - Sbdd Rfi and Appendices Final

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Published by Kate Freeman

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Published by: Kate Freeman on Dec 18, 2012
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07/24/2013

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 Before the
 
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20580
In the Matter of Request for Investigation of Nickelodeon’sand PlayFirst’s Mobile ApplicationSpongeBob Diner Dash Mobile Application
)))))COMPLAINT AND REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATIONSubmitted byCenter for Digital Democracy
Of Counsel:Jordan BlumenthalJessica WangGeorgetown Law StudentsDecember 17, 2012Angela J. CampbellLaura M. MoyInstitute for Public RepresentationGeorgetown University Law Center 600 New Jersey Avenue, NWSuite 312Washington, DC 20001(202) 662-9535
Counsel for Center for Digital Democracy
 
 
 
Table of Contents
I. Background....................................................................................................................1A. Nickelodeon.............................................................................................................2B. PlayFirst...................................................................................................................3C. SpongeBob Diner Dash............................................................................................5D. Downloading SpongeBob Diner Dash.....................................................................7II. Nickelodeon and PlayFirst Make False Representations in their PrivacyStatements for SpongeBob Diner Dash.........................................................................9III. Nickelodeon and PlayFirst Fail to Comply with the Children’s Online PrivacyProtection Act..............................................................................................................11A. SpongeBob Diner Dash Is Directed to Children Under the Age of 13..................11B. Nickelodeon and PlayFirst Collect Several Types of Personal Informationfrom Children.........................................................................................................141. First and Last Name.......................................................................................152. Email Address................................................................................................163. Other Online Contact Information.................................................................16C. Nickelodeon and PlayFirst Fail to Comply with COPPA’s NoticeRequirement...........................................................................................................20D. Nickelodeon and PlayFirst Fail to Comply with COPPA’s Requirement thatit Obtain Verifiable Parental Consent Before Collecting PersonalInformation from a Child.......................................................................................23IV. Conclusion...................................................................................................................23Appendix A: Nickelodeon and PlayFirst Press Release.................................................A-1Appendix B: SpongeBob Diner Dash Page in Apple App Store....................................A-3Appendix C: Nickelodeon Group Privacy Policy...........................................................A-5Appendix D: PlayFirst, Inc. Privacy Policy..................................................................A-11
 
 1
 Before the
 
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20580
 In the Matter of Request for Investigation of Nickelodeon’sand PlayFirst’s SpongeBob Diner DashMobile Application
)))))
The Center for Digital Democracy (“CDD”), by its attorneys, the Institute for Public Representation (“IPR”), asks the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) toinvestigate and bring an action against Nickelodeon and PlayFirst for deceptivemarketing of the SpongeBob Diner Dash game and for violating the Children’s OnlinePrivacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). Nickelodeon and PlayFirst represent that SpongeBobDiner Dash collects personal data from users “in accordance with applicable law, such asCOPPA,” when in fact the app neither provides the type of notice required by COPPA,nor makes any attempt to obtain prior, verifiable parental consent required by COPPA.
I.
 
Background
When
 
 Nickelodeon launched SpongeBob Diner Dash in May 2012, the pressrelease announced that “Nickelodeon, the number-one entertainment brand for kids, has joined forces with PlayFirst, the leading full-service publisher of casual games, to launcha new, downloadable SpongeBob SquarePants(TM) Diner Dash(TM) game.” PaulJelinek, vice president, Digital Media Products, Nickelodeon Networks, stated that“Joining one of the top properties for kids—SpongeBob SquarePants—with one of thetop casual games in the market—Diner Dash—is a significant step in the expansion of  Nickelodeon's casual gaming business.” He added that “PlayFirst has demonstrated thatthey understand how to tap the exploding mass market interest in interactive

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