Kids’ game maker Mobbles has pulled its mobile titles in a preemptive defense against FTC investigation, having been unofficially informed that its software is among 200 titles accused of storing information on child players without parental approval. The FTC confirmed it would begin a probe into kid apps on Monday, but did not specifically name the titles it would be looking at. “We have elected to take our app temporarily offline in order to focus on [privacy] objectives and ways that we can continue to improve on all fronts” Mobbles said in a statement on its site today, claiming not to have yet been approached by the FTC regarding online privacy complaints.
Among the FTC’s concerns are apps that contain in-app purchasing which could be abused by younger gamers, apps that use geolocation to identify the position of those players, and titles that gather up information that COPPA cautions against.
Mobbles is unlikely to be the only developer moving to yank software distribution until the investigation is fully explained, and we’re expecting to see other app producers move to clarify their position on titles aimed at young people. There’s more on the FTC report here.