AgeCheq Secures $1M to Protect Child Privacy in Mobile Apps and Games
Angel investors give initial financing to company that helps game developers comply with the federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and gives parents control over children's online privacy
YORK, Pa., February 11, 2014-- AgeCheq (www.agecheq.com) today announced the closing of its $1 million Series A investment round. The round was funded by angel investors from Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. in less than six weeks. AgeCheq was founded in 2013 to provide a complete COPPA compliance solution for mobile game developers who must comply with the law as well as to help parents regain control over their children's online privacy. Since its public launch in Los Angeles at the GDC/Next Game Developer's Convention in November, AgeCheq has been actively demonstrating its COPPA compliance solution to leading mobile game publishers.
"This financing allows us to complete the build out of our technology to handle the needs of the entire mobile app industry," said Roy Smith, founder and CEO of AgeCheq. "At scale, our system will readily handle 750 million parental game approvals per day, comfortably exceeding the needs of even today's red hot mobile game market. Because game publishers risk huge fines for ignoring or improperly complying with the COPPA law, we created AgeCheq to drastically reduce the effort and cost of compliance. AgeCheq also gives parents easy-to-use tools to protect their children's privacy."
Created during the Clinton administration and enacted in 2000, COPPA was passed to protect children under the age of 13 as they used the Internet. With the meteoric rise of mobile devices and the new privacy issues that accompanied them, COPPA was revised in 2012 to cover mobile games. The revised law went into effect on July 1, 2013.
According to a study recently conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs, more than half of children eight to twelve years of age have a cell phone. On average, children's mobile devices have more than six gaming applications and are used daily with an average playing time of just under an hour. Every hour a child spends playing games or downloading apps on mobile devices increases the potential for sensitive personal information to be captured and shared without a parent's consent.
A December 2012 FTC study on mobile apps for kids stated that most mobile app developers failed to meet the original COPPA compliance standards. The study also found many mobile apps continue to share personal information, such as device ID, geolocation and phone numbers, with third parties without disclosure to parents. Under the law, developers who do not comply with COPPA are subject to fines of up to $16,000 per affected child, and up to 20 years of annual privacy audits.
Why This is Important for App and Game Publishers:
With AgeCheq, developers and publishers can eliminate the cost and effort of creating their own COPPA compliance technology. AgeCheq delivers a complete solution to verify parents' identities; provides them with simple-to-understand disclosure statements about the information each app collects, stores, and shares; and offers a streamlined parental "dashboard" showing approved apps and enabling parents to revoke their approval.
Why This is Important for Parents:
AgeCheq provides parents a single-sign-on dashboard where they can easily see, and then approve or disapprove what is going on behind the scenes within AgeCheq enabled mobile apps their children use. After initial account setup, AgeCheq streamlines all COPPA-mandated parental interaction.
AgeCheq is the mobile industry's only complete "COPPA compliance ecosystem," designed to team regulators, parents and responsible developers together to regain control of children's online privacy. Founded by seasoned mobile app and game industry technologists, AgeCheq offers app publishers a frictionless path to make their apps and games COPPA compliant, at no cost. AgeCheq is platform-agnostic and can be integrated into an existing app and tested within a day. For more information visit http://www.AgeCheq.com.
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