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New Mexico Sues Google & Twitter For Illegally Exploiting Children

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Published on: September 18, 2018

At least one state in the union has decided to push back against some of the big tech giants after their Nazi-like censorship, but not because of censorship.  New Mexico filed a lawsuit against Google and Twitter are among several tech companies named in the lawsuit that claims that several app developers knowingly and illegally collected data from children under 13-years-old without their parents’ consent.

In a press release from New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, the suit names  Google, Twitter, Tiny Lab Productions, MoPub, AerServ, InMobi PTE, AppLovin and IronSource as the defendants.

Tiny Lab Productions are listed as the company by which the apps were designed and that the apps were marketed by Google in its Play Store.  The apps, according to the press release, “targeted children and contain illegal tracking software.”

“Federal law makes it illegal to collect personal data from children under 13 without parental consent. This illegal data collection allows Defendants, and whoever they sell this data to, to track, profile, and target millions of children nationwide.”

“These apps can track where children live, play, and go to school with incredible precision,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “These multi-million-dollar tech companies partnering with app developers are taking advantage of New Mexican children, and the unacceptable risk of data breach and access from third parties who seek to exploit and harm our children will not be tolerated in New Mexico.”

The Free Thought Project adds:

The lawsuit comes on the heals of a study that showed over 6,000 apps violate COPPA regulations.

As the Free Thought Project reported earlier this year, YouTube was already found to be in violation of COPPA when an independent coalition of advocacy groups conducted their own investigation.

The coalition is made up of groups including the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy and 21 other organizations. Within their complaint, the coalition alleges that despite Google claiming YouTube is only for children 13-years-old and over—it knows younger children use the site and it targets them—illegally.

According to COPPA, it is illegal for any operator of a website or online service or a portion thereof that is directed to children, or that has actual knowledge that it collects information from children, from collecting, using or disclosing personal information from a child unless the operator gives parents notice of its data collection practices and obtains verifiable parental consent before collecting the data.

However, according to the complaint filed by the coalition, Google is knowingly violating this law.

According to the complaint:

YouTube also has actual knowledge that many children are on YouTube, as evidenced by
disclosures from content providers, public statements by YouTube executives, and the creation of the YouTube Kids app, which provides additional access to many of the children’s channels on YouTube. YouTube even encourages content creators to create children’s programs for YouTube. Through the YouTube Partner Program, YouTube and creators split revenues from advertisements served on the creators’ videos. YouTube’s privacy policy discloses that it collects many types of personal information, including geolocation, unique device identifiers, mobile telephone numbers, and persistent identifiers used to recognize a user over time and across different websites or online services. YouTube collects this information from children under the age of 13, and uses it to target advertisements, without giving notice or obtaining advanced, verifiable parental consent as required by COPPA.

The coalition is now asking that the FTC step in and investigate the internet giant for these violations.

“For years, Google has abdicated its responsibility to kids and families by disingenuously claiming YouTube — a site rife with popular cartoons, nursery rhymes, and toy ads — is not for children under 13,” said Josh Golin, executive director of the CCFC, as reported by the Guardian at the time. “Google profits immensely by delivering ads to kids and must comply with Coppa. It’s time for the FTC to hold Google accountable for its illegal data collection and advertising practices.”

Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy said, “Google has acted duplicitously by falsely claiming in its terms of service that YouTube is only for those who are age 13 or older, while it deliberately lured young people into an ad-filled digital playground.

The AG’s office also identified 91 apps that are or have been participants in Google’s Designed for Families (DFF) program, except for those labeled with an asterik below.

1. Angry Bunny Race: Jungle Road
2. Arctic Roads: Car Racing Game
3. Automatron Galaxy Wars: Transform, Shoot and Drive
4. Baby Toilet Race: Cleanup Fun
5. Battleship of Pacific War: Naval Warfare
6. Bike Race Game: Traffic Rider of Neon City
7. Bike Race: Speed Racer of Night City
8. Bike Racing Show: Stunt & Drag
9. Car Games: Neon Rider Drives Sport Cars
10. Chhota Bheem Speed Racing*
11. Christmas Games: Santa Train Simulator
12. Christmas Snow Racing*
13. Cute Robotic Racing – Future Cars
14. Desert Rally Trucks: Offroad Racing
15. DexLand
16. Dino World Speed Car Racing
17. Dinosaur Park Train Race
18. Dragon Fight: Boss Shooting Game
19. Dragon Panda Racing
20. Elite SWAT Car Racing: Army Truck Driving Game
21. Emergency Car Racing Hero
22. Extreme Car Driving: Race of Destruction
23. Fast Ambulance Racing – Medics!
24. Fast Cars: Formula Racing Grand Prix
25. Fire Fighters Racing: Fireman Drives Fire Truck
26. Forest Truck Simulator: Offroad & Log Truck Games
27. Fun Kid Bubble Pop*
28. Fun Kid Racing
29. Fun Kid Racing – Jungle Cars
30. Fun Kid Racing – Madagascar
31. Fun Kid Racing – Motocross
32. Fun Kid Racing – Safari Cars
33. Fun Kid Racing – Stickman Mode*
34. Fun Kid Racing City Builder
35. Fun Kid Racing Dinosaurs World
36. Fun Kid Racing Magic Forest
37. Fun Kids Train Racing Games
38. Fun School Race Games for Families
39. GummyBear and Friends speed racing
40. Halloween Cars: Monster Race
41. Halloween Town Racing
42. Happy Easter Bunny Racing
43. Ice Road Truck Driving Race
44. Interactive Police Car Racing
45. Jet Car Power Show: Max Speed Race
46. Jet Truck Racing: City Drag Championship
47. Jungle Monster Truck Adventure Race
48. Jungle Motocross Extreme Racing
49. Mad Road: Apocalypse Moto Race
50. Magic Circus Festival
51. Magic Elf Fantasy Forest Run
52. Mini Tanks World War Hero Race
53. Monster Bike Motocross
54. Monster Truck Police Racing
55. Monster Truck Racing
56. Monster Truck Winter Racing
57. Monster Trucks Action Race
58. MotoCross – Police Jailbreak
59. Motocross Games: Dirt Bike Racing
60. Motocross Kids – Winter Sports
61. Motorcycle Racer – Bike Games
62. Night City: Speed Car Racing
63. Paradise Island Summer Fun Run
64. Pet Friends Park Racing
65. Pirate Ship Shooting Race
66. Prehistoric Run Racing
67. RC Toy Cars Race
68. RollerCoaster Fun Park
69. Run Cute Little Pony Race Game
70. Safari Motocross Racing
71. Skater Boys – Skateboard Games
72. Slice the Cheese
73. Space Race – Speed Racing Cars
74. Sports Bikes Racing Show
75. Sports Cars Racing: Chasing Cars on Miami Beach
76. Summer Car Racing – Australia
77. Superheroes Car Racing
78. SUV Safari Racing: Desert Storm Adventure
79. Sweet Candy Racing
80. Tank Race: WW2 Shooting Game
81. Tractor Hill Racing
82. Tropical Island Boat Racing
83. Truck Driving Race US Route 66
84. Western Train Driving Race
85. Wild West Race
86. Windy Way*
87. Winter Racing – Holiday Fun!
88. Winter Wonderland Snow Racing
89. Zombie Shooter Motorcycle Race
90. Zombie Shooting Race Adventure
91. Zombie Survival Games: Pocket Tanks Battle

The press release also provides information for parents who want to check their children’s devices and limit ad tracking.

Google and Twitter are among the social media giants who are attempting to meddle in US mid-term elections by censoring voices that they don’t agree with.  Remember, Google is a CIA startup, as well as many tech companies, and all with your money.   But I’ll bet you didn’t get a return on the theft of your money that finances the current tyranny, did you?

Perhaps many people are not connecting the dots of the Deep State with the social giant tech companies, many of which have made their fortunes off the backs of Google’s search engine platform and Android operating system.

At least a state is willing to stand up and bring the law to bear on them.  I wish New Mexico much success!

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