Disney Spies on Your Children through 42 Apps
Updated on July 13, 2021: From now on, traffic filtering, malware protection, and suspicious DNS activity blocking are available as a part of the separate DNS Firewall app.
We used to think that if there is a law which protects us and our children, it’s a reason to feel pretty much safe, aren’t we? However, it seems that it isn’t the case when it comes to app developers. One of the most notorious affairs, which took place earlier this month and was connected with the name of the Walt Disney Company, confirms our words. The most shocking thing here is that they are likely to track children’s online behavior and use their private data for personal purposes.
This article is intended to reach out parents who implicitly trust to everything with a label “for children” and believe that this is a guaranty of their kids’ safety. The first point in the list of wolves in sheep’s clothing are online games. They create an illusion of an innocent amusement and online security for your children. Indeed, the idea to help Anna from Frozen to make her way up the mountain or virtual running and jumping with Rapunzel to escape the guards really doesn’t arouse any suspicions.
Next comes a brief description about how Disney has compromised its reputation by spying on thousands of children.
The dark side of Disney
Disney along with other 3 software companies, such as Upsight, Unity, and Kochava, have been accused of secret gathering kids’ personal data through their 42 apps and games. As the Washington Post reports, these apps are in high demand. For instance, one of them, “Where’s My Water? 2”, has been already installed about 500 million times.
According to the federal lawsuit recently filed in California, the companies illegally tracked the children’s online behavior, collected their private data, and shared this information with third-party companies for targeted advertising and other commercial purposes behind parents’ back.
The plaintiffs say that this is not the first time when Disney breached the law of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In 2011, Disney had to pay the $3 million civil penalty as its subsidiary, Playdom, collected personal data of children as young as 13. Private information about one million users, such as age, email addresses, and locations, was collected for selling to advertisers without parental consent.
How can we protect our kids?
While your kids might be experts at gadgets, they’re not yet experts at evaluating risks. This role is yours, dear parents. Above we have mentioned the case which, hopefully, will make you concern about your children’s online safety. Not sure what to do and where to start? Here’s some advice for you. Hope these tips will help to guard your child:
1. Talk to your kids
This may seem obvious, but it’s critically important to engage with your kids taking up the question about online safety. Explain to your child that people on the internet are not always who they say they are, thus should not be trusted implicitly. Simple comparison of the internet with a stranger will make them think twice about what kind of data they share on websites. Being regularly involved in your children’s online life, there is a great chance that kids will speak up if they ever face something you have discussed. This will allow you to avoid unhappy consequences.
2. Set up a VPN service
Well, protection never comes easy, but we have a great idea how to support you in your struggle for online security. You need a reliable service, like VPN Unlimited. This well-trusted app will undertake parental duties and stand up against huge corporations of the world and keep your kids safe. Moreover, it offers a next-generation KeepSolid DNS Firewall feature to block the great majority of ads not only on websites but in apps as well. It will allow your children to enjoy their favorite games without any possible online threats, such as personal data hijacking, internet activity tracking, etc. VPN Unlimited will play a vital role in protecting your kids while they are online.
Make sure that there is nothing threatening to your children when they surf the web and play their favorite games. Download VPN Unlimited and start your 7-day free trial right away.