Washington – Virtual worlds and online games publisher Playdom has agreed to pay $3 million to settle charges from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), that it illegally collected and disclosed personal information from hundreds of thousands of children under 13, a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
The FTC charged that Playdom operated 20 virtual worlds with online games, including 2 Moons, 9 Dragons, My Diva Doll and Pony Stars, which attracted scores of children.
Playdom violated the law when it allowed these children to register on the sites before obtaining parental consent, and also when it allowed children to disclose personal information via the profile pages and community forums on the sites.
In addition to the $3 million settlement, Playdom signed a decree stating is will not violate COPPA in the future.
The FTC noted that Playdom acquired the sites in question when it bought Acclaim Games in May 2010. Disney then acquired Playdom in August 2010.