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Are cell phone game apps illegally tracking your children?

A Mother in California says her child was illegally tracked while using the Disney Princess Palace Pets phone app.

The class action suit alleges that Disney allowed advertisers to gain access to what users were doing from how long they were on the app to clicks they made.

It's a common technique used by advertisers with adults on social media and the web.

But Paul Hager, CEO with ITPFacebook Information Technology Professionals in Milwaukee and Madison says there's the Child Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA which bars this from happening with app users 13 years of age and younger without a parent's approval. 

"Any personal unique identifier, not just name and social security number, needs to be protected information," Hager told CBS 58 News.

Disney says there's a misunderstanding about what the law really says and it plans to fight in court.

So, what can parents do?

"I think if you go to that app it covers a broad range, that princess pets app," added Hager. "It says what a lot of apps say. The app is free but right under it but offers in app purchases. That tells me, as a parent, that's not a good choice for children. That's tough because that's a lot of the apps that are out there. Free to get on the platform but then they try to "up-sell" you by buying fake currency, or whatever it might be to upgrade your pet or car whatever that application might be."


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