Newsletter: Disney’s Controversial ‘Spy Kids’ Apps & Facebook Poses Competition To YouTube

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“Suspicionless surveillance does not become okay simply because it’s only victimizing 95% of the world instead of 100%.” ~ Edward Snowden

WALT DISNEY CREATES ‘SPY KIDS’ APPS BUT NOT LIKE THE MOVIES

THE STORY

42 Disney apps under question for spying on kids.

WHAT DID THEY DO NOW?

Disney has been pulled into court by a San Francisco woman for collecting personal data on children. This includes more than 40 individual apps, that allegedly use trackers to maintain an informational database on its users. Since these apps are directed at younger users aged 13 years and below, they are in direct violation of “Children Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998”.

According to this law “COPPA imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.” Hence, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Walt Disney Company for trying to manipulate children’s behavior through that data.

WHAT DOES THE LAWSUIT SAY?

Based on the reports, Disney has been accused of secretly installing trackers in their apps for kids such as “Princess Palace Pets” and “Where’s My Water? 2” alongside 40 more apps. This lawsuit was filed on the 3rd of August, at a District Court in San Francisco. She said “Children are especially vulnerable to online tracking and the resulting behavioral advertising, Disney never obtained verifiable parental consent to collect, use, or disclose her child’s personal information.”

WHAT DOES DISNEY HAVE TO SAY?

While there was no word by Disney officials on this case, they recently issued a statement defending their actions. They said “Disney has a robust COPPA compliance program, and we maintain strict data collection and use policies for Disney apps created for children and families.”  

They also explained that the plaintiff’s argument is based on her inability to differentiate between surveillance and tracking. Hence they will try to prove things otherwise, and said “The complaint is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of COPPA principles, and we look forward to defending this action in Court.”


FACEBOOK IS READY TO COMPETE WITH YOUTUBE WITH NEW VIDEO SERVICE

THE STORY

Named as “Watch” the new video hub by Facebook aims to lower Youtube videos shared on Social media.

WHAT IS ‘ WATCH’?

The news about facebook launching their own hub of original video content has been around for almost 6 months now. However, it seems they’ve finally decided to pull the wraps on their development by announcing ‘Watch’. The new service will be available for all platforms including Mobile, Desktop and Facebook TV, which will be gradually made public. This will be integrated within the facebook page, under a new tab. It would feature content such as music videos, original series, live sports, cooking shows, cultural events and a lot more.

WHEN CAN WE USE IT?

Despite this announcement, the service will only be made available to a select number of users in the US. However, Facebook hasn’t yet announced a specific release date which does make things a little boring.

According to the statement by Facebook Director of Product, “Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love. We’re introducing ‘Watch’, a new platform for shows on Facebook. ‘Watch’ will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop and in our TV apps.”

DO THEY REALLY WANT TO COMPETE WITH YOUTUBE?

While a lot of experts have suggested that Watch could be a ploy to decrease Youtube links being shared on Facebook, but things are clearly different than what they seem. Since Facebook’s primary emphasis is on creating and promoting original content, there’s highly a chance that Youtube will have any dearth of viewers.

Moreover, this strategy aims to increase their revenue generated by ads through videos. The video marketplace is already pretty crowded and it wouldn’t really be beneficial for Facebook to compete rather than upscale its revenue.

Akshay Peter

Akshay Luke Peters is a writer and blogger for Systweak Software. He likes to write about off-beat topics and technological awareness. He is also part musician who likes to explore the future of technology in entertainment and popular media.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *