RockYou settles with FTC over security flaw charges

Social developer RockYou has settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges it failed to protect user privacy.

According to the FTC, although RockYou touted the strength of its site’s security, security flaws allowed hackers access the personal information of 32 million users. The FTC also brought charges against RockYou for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA Rule) by collecting personal information from roughly 179,000 children — many of whom were younger than 13-years-old — without their parents’ consent.

The settlement bars RockYou from violating the COPPA Rule in the future, requires the company to create and maintain a data security program and pay a $250,000 civil penalty. Additionally, RockYou will delete all information previously collected from users younger than 13-years-old and submit to security audits by independent auditors every other year for 20 years.

When we contacted RockYou about the settlement, CEO Lisa Marino responded with the following statement:

RockYou is pleased to reach a settlement and gratified to put this matter behind us. We appreciate the work the FTC has done in this process as they have been fair, reasonable and timely throughout. The events that led to this complaint occurred over two years ago and we have long since removed the features that led to this investigation. The focus of our business has evolved – we no longer operate applications such as those included in the complaint, and we are in full compliance with Facebook’s policies. 

The settlement continues RockYou’s efforts to turn itself around after a troubled year and a half. The developer laid off over half of its workforce in November 2011. At the time Marino told Inside Social Games, “we made a lot of mistakes in the last 12 months,” but also stated the company was expecting to be profitable for the first time this year.

Tumblr Marketing

Mediabistro Course

Tumblr Marketing

Starting December 1, learn how to market using the most popular visual blog! In this course, you’ll learn how to develop a strategy for your own Tumblr account, get people to read and share your content, and integrate your marketing efforts with other social platforms. Register now!


Leave a Reply

One Response to “RockYou settles with FTC over security flaw charges”

  1. McDonald’s yanks social features from kids-oriented online portal says:

    [...] a more active role in going after groups who violate the Children’s Online Privacy Act. Back in March, RockYou finally settled with the FTC after it collected information from roughly 179,000 children [...]

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside social games?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Sr. Editorial Content Manager

New York, NY

Social Media Specialist

Penske Media Corp.
Los Angeles, CA

Social Media and Online Assistant

Education Management
Chester, PA

Web Content Creator

John Paul Mitchell Systems
Los Angeles, CA

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us