“This is going to be the biggest change to the children’s app market that we’ve seen that gets at the business models,” said Josh Golin, the executive director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a nonprofit in Boston. “On thousands of apps, children will no longer be targeted with the most insidious and manipulative forms of marketing.”
The companies in the class-action cases did not admit any wrongdoing.
The settlements come as the Federal Trade Commission has been pursuing children’s privacy cases against individual developers and ad-tech firms. But children’s advocates said the class-action cases, which involved a much larger swath of the app and ad tech marketplace, could prompt industrywide changes for apps and ads aimed at young people.
Viacom, whose settlement covers one of its children’s apps, called “Llama Spit Spit,” and Twitter declined to comment. Disney, whose settlement agreement covers its children’s apps in the United States, and Kiloo, a Danish company that co-developed “Subway Surfers,” did not immediately response to emails seeking comment.