OpenX to Pay $2M for Collecting Data on Children

Pat Maio
Pat Maio has held various reporting and editorial management positions over the past 25 years, having specialized in business and government reporting. He has held reporting jobs with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register, Dow Jones News and other newspapers in Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
OpenX to Pay $2M for Collecting Data on Children
Photo by Igor Starkov on Unsplash

OpenX, a Pasadena-based ad tech company, agreed to pay $2 million to settle allegations that it amassed troves of data on children as it flaunted regulations intended to protect data privacy.

The venture-backed firm used code to “inadvertently” pull location specific data from users even when they opted out and sold children’s data to third party advertisers.


Once alerted of the practice by Google, which initially discovered the leak in October 2018, the company put barriers in place to end the breach.

“To put it plainly, it was a mistake,” the company admitted in a Tuesday blog post. “In this situation, an unintentional error was made.”

The company boasts that it’s the largest ad exchange offering advertisers targeted demographics or audiences.

Since its inception in 2008, OpenX has raised $85 million in venture funding, including Samsung Ventures, Accel Partners and Wavemaker Partners, among others, according to Pitchbook.

“We take this matter incredibly seriously, and since we have always held ourselves to the highest quality standards, we thought it would be helpful to provide some context and background about what happened and what we have done about it,” the company stated.

Bottomline: The company says “a very small percentage of our ad requests” came from apps that targeted kids.

Nonetheless, since the ad requests came from apps directed at children, the Federal Trade Commission concluded after an investigation that OpenX did not put in place sufficient safeguards or have a privacy policy in place that sought the permission of parents to release the data.

The failure to protect kids under the age of 13 violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, also known as COPPA, according to the FTC in a settlement filed on Dec. 15 with the U.S District Court in Los Angeles.

The law details what a website operator must include in a privacy policy, when and how to seek consent from a parent or guardian, and what responsibilities an operator has to protect children's privacy and safety online.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

Read moreShow less

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

Read moreShow less

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending