Apple, Google remove dating apps that allowed children to make profiles

By | May 7, 2019

Three dating apps have been removed from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store after allegations from the Federal Trade Commission that the apps allowed children as young as 12 to access them.

In a recent letter, the FTC warned Wildec LLC, a Ukraine-based company that operates the apps Meet24, FastMeet and Meet4U, that the three apps appear to be in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the FTC Act.

The apps have been removed until they address the violations the FTC alleges.

COPPA requires companies collecting personal information from children under 13 to post easy-to-understand privacy policies, and to notify parents to get their consent before collecting, using or sharing personal information from the child.

According to the FTC, the apps collect users’ birthdates, email addresses, photographs and location data. They also fail to block users under the age of 13 from using the app, though they claim to prohibit such users.

Allowing such underage users poses a health and safety risk, the agency says, and several adults have faced criminal charges for contacting or attempting to contact children via Wildec’s apps.

The agency’s letter went on to urge the company to remove the personal information given by children on the three apps, seek parental consent before allowing minors to access them, and to ensure that the apps comply with COPPA and the FTC Act.

The FTC, which has taken heat for not doing enough to rein in Big Tech, is the subject of an oversight hearing Tuesday in the House of Representatives.

Fox News reached out to Apple and Google for comment.

Living | New York Post