On October 3, 2016, the Texas Attorney General announced a $30,000 settlement with mobile app developer Juxta Labs, Inc. (“Juxta”) stemming from allegations that the company violated Texas consumer protection law by engaging in false, deceptive or misleading acts or practices regarding the collection of personal information from children.
The Texas Attorney General alleged that Juxta, the developer of the “Jott” messaging app and other apps for gaming and social media, misled consumers regarding the company’s privacy practices and compliance with privacy laws. According to the Texas Attorney General, Juxta’s apps were previously easy for children of any age to access. Many of the company’s apps offered free children’s games, generating revenue from advertisements and in-app purchases. Personal information was transmitted over these apps, including IP addresses and GPS coordinates, which could be used to pinpoint a child’s location.
Additionally, Juxta is required to develop, implement and maintain procedures to ensure its Jott app does not contain any networks that are likely to predominantly include children under the age of 13. In particular, Juxta must refrain from designating any of its networks as an “Elementary School” network within the State of Texas. In the event Juxta seeks to prevent children under the age of 13 from using its apps or providing personal information, Juxta must implement and maintain reasonable neutral age screening mechanisms that discourage children from falsifying their age. Juxta further agreed to delete within 30 days (1) all personal information of children under 13 in its custody or control, and (2) all personal information in its custody or control regarding members of its “Elementary School” networks.