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FTC warns app firms not to collect kids' data

A child looks at a mobile phone.
Photo: Donal Husni/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission warned China-based Gator Group Co., Ltd., and Sweden-based Tinitell, Inc., that collecting geolocation data from children under the age of 13 without parental consent violates U.S. privacy rules.

Why it matters: Foreign companies are also required to comply with the FTC's Children's Online Privacy Protection Act if their services are directed at U.S.-based children.

Context: Gator Group markets a Kids GPS Gator Watch as a "child's first cell phone" and Tinitell advertises an app that works with a watch-like mobile phone for kids. The FTC also sent copies of the letters to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, which make the apps available.