Skip to main content

Kids love to play video games — in apps, on mobile devices and online with friends. And when kids play games, it is unlawful to collect their personal information without parental consent. 

According to a complaint announced today by the Federal Trade Commission, HyperBeard Inc., a mobile app developer, offered free apps to children under 13-years-old and unlawfully collected their personal information to direct targeted advertising to them, in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). 

COPPA requires app developers and website operators to provide notice about their data collection practices and to obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information online from children—including persistent identifiers used to target advertising to them.

According to the FTC, HyperBeard targeted behavioral advertising to children on apps like KleptoCats, KleptoDogs, and Clawbert based on their activity over time without obtaining required verifiable parental consent.    

To settle the case, HyperBeard and its owners will pay a civil penalty.  They are also prohibited from violating COPPA in the future, and must destroy all information collected from children without parental consent.

If you are a parent, here are some tips about protecting your children’s privacy to keep in mind.

  • Help your kids understand what information should stay private. Tell your kids why it's important to keep information like Social Security numbers, street addresses, phone numbers, and financial information private.
  • Apps might try to collect and share personal information.  Tell your children they should never share that information unless you have given your consent.

Check out more FTC information about kids and mobile apps.

Printable PDF

Keeping Up With Kids' Apps infographic: How parents can find out what apps might be doing — but might not be telling them — and what they can do about it.



It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

June 04, 2020
This is an excellent and informative piece of information. Now if we can get all of the predators out of children’s gaming sites, then children could have a positive experience with apps and games. Good job FTC!
June 04, 2020
I’m really impressed with visual and informational interest of this E-mail. Thank you for this.
ACOLEDon't use…
June 05, 2020

In reply to by Jimandlinda1

I agree with the comment above. FTC has been knocking it out of the park recently with its advocacy, enforcement and education.