Published on July 20th, 20160
Sega’s Sonic Runners App
Following a recent inquiry, the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program, a self-regulatory advertising body focused on mobile apps, found that Sega’s Sonic Runners app ran afoul of its mobile guidance by allowing third parties access to smartphone users’ “precise location data,” or what Sega defines as “street-level location information,” without their consent. Third parties used the information, the accountability program said, to serve interest-based advertising (IBA), or targeted ads, to consumers using the app.
As of May 11, the children’s game (the accountability program’s characterization, not ours) had been installed more than 5 million times.
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In response to the inquiry, Sega removed the game from Google’s and Apple’s app stores and agreed to notify users of the compliance issues. A new version of the app does not permit third-party collection for use in IBA. Sega made it mandatory that users update to the latest version.
Sonic Runners is not the only app to be cited for this issue.
A simultaneous decision by the accountability program regarding a popular health app called iTriage found similar compliance issues related to third-party precise location data collection.
Find more of our coverage on apps here.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act; it gives parents control over what information websites can collect from their kids under 13