Mobile application developer W3 Innovations, LLC and company president and owner Justin Maples have agreed to pay $50,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the FTC’s COPPA Rule. W3, doing business as Broken Thumbs Apps, develops and distributes software applications for mobile devices, including the iPhone and the iPod touch. According to the complaint, W3 violated COPPA by illegally collecting and disclosing personal information from tens of thousands of children under the age of 13, without the necessary prior parental consent. This is the FTC’s first settlement involving mobile applications -- not just under COPPA, but under any statute. It signals that app providers will now need to comply with COPPA if they direct services towards children or knowingly collect and maintain personal information from children. It also signals that the FTC may now cast its wide “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” net over app developers whose security or privacy practices aren’t up to snuff.