9:19am PT by Ashley Cullins
Viacom Targeted by Mom Suing Disney Over Kids Apps
Days after filing a proposed class action against Disney over its Princess Palace Pets app, a San Francisco mom is now suing Viacom for allegedly tracking her child's personal information through a free app.
Amanda Rushing says the media giant didn't get her permission to track her child "L.L." through the Nickelodeon gaming app Llama Spit Spit.
The suit, which is nearly identical to the one filed against Disney on Thursday by the same attorneys, claims Viacom uses surreptitious software development kits embedded in the game to collect personally identifiable information in order to target advertising to kids in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
In addition to the llama game, Rushing says Viacom is tracking users through other apps, including PAW Patrol Pups to the Rescue, SpongeBob Bubble Party and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Portal Power. (Read the full list in the complaint below.)
According to the suit, Viacom recently paid a $500,000 fine for COPPA violations following an investigation by the New York attorney general into Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. websites.
Upsight, Inc. and Unity Technologies, the companies allegedly responsible for creating the code, are named in both suits, which could be an indication that any media company that has worked with the developers on its apps could be the next to be sued.
Viacom sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement Tuesday afternoon in response to the complaint: "Viacom takes its COPPA compliance very seriously, and we are deeply committed to protecting children’s privacy. We believe the claims are without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend against this action."
Aug. 8, 3:00 p.m. Updated with a statement from Viacom.