On Monday, the Texas State Attorney General announced that it reached a settlement with app maker Juxta Labs, Inc. (“JLI”) regarding its information collection practices. The Attorney General had been investigating JLI for violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act “by engaging in false, deceptive, or misleading acts or practices regarding its collection of personal information from children.” As a result of the investigation, JLI executed an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, agreeing to take steps to comply with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (“COPPA”).

What are the Terms of the COPPA Settlement?

JLI Agrees to Comply with COPPA

Pursuant to the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, JLI has agreed not to collect or permit third parties to collect personal information from any child that uses one of its apps unless JLI complies with the requirements of COPPA. JLI has also agreed to develop, implement and maintain procedures to insure that its “Jott App” does not contain networks that are likely to predominately include children. JLI further agreed to develop and maintain “an up-to-date and accurate privacy policy that is clear, conspicuous, and understandable.” JLI will pay the State of Texas $15,000 for reimbursement of attorneys’ fees incurred by the Attorney General.

Protect Yourself

We recently blogged about a mobile marketer that paid the Federal Trade Commission almost one million dollars for violations of COPPA. The announcement by the Texas State Attorney General underscores the regulatory dangers companies face in not ensuring strict compliance with COPPA. App makers, as well as any company that is active on the Internet, should consult with competent counsel to ensure that all of its data collection, use and sharing policies and procedures are compliant with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.