SpongeBob: putting on a brave face
SpongeBob – whose cartoon has appeared on the Nickelodeon television station since 1999 – was pulled from the store after a US advocacy group contacted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), reports the BBC.
The Centre for Digital Democracy claimed that children's e-mail addresses had been collected without parental consent. Nickelodeon denies the allegation.
The action comes after a recent temporary removal of children’s app ‘Mobbles’, when the centre filed a similar complaint.
In a statement, Washington DC-based group said: ‘The SpongeBob Diner Dash game asks children to provide a wide range of personal information, including full name, e-mail address, and other on-line contact information, without providing notice to parents or obtaining prior parental consent, as required by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.’
However, Nickelodeon contends that an initial investigation of the app found that no names, e-mail addresses or other personally identifiable information were collected. ‘Therefore, we believe that no violation of COPPA occurred,’ the broadcaster said in a statement.