Nickelodeon says it has vetted its SpongeBob Diner Dash mobile app game and it does not collect
personally identifiable info.
The game earlier this week was the target
of a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission alleging that it violated
the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting that info but not
informing parents it was doing so.
"After an initial investigation and thorough review of our SpongeBob Diner Dash mobile application,
we can confirm that no names, email addresses or other personally identifiable
information were collected, and, therefore, we believe that no violation of
COPPA occurred," said the company in a statement. "The optional email
prompt to receive a newsletter was a template function from the developer that
was never operational in this app, and no email addresses or personally
identifiable information were collected.
"Nickelodeon has long prided itself as being a leader
in COPPA compliance, and we are looking forward to maintaining that leadership
position in the industry as the FTC unveils its updated guidelines."
The company also said that the game's prompt for a player to
enter his or her name is simply to allow for saving of an individual game in
progress and resides locally on the device rather than a server.
The Federal Trade Commission is releasing
changes/clarifications to its enforcement to COPPA on Wednesday to
reflect the rise of mobile and online gaming and marketing.