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App stores pull dating apps after FTC warning about underage users

The apps didn't block kids under 13 from signing up.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
May 6, 2019
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Tero Vesalainen via Getty Images

You'd think that dating app developers would be sure to keep children from signing up, but that's not always the case. Apple and Google have removed three Wildec dating apps (FastMeet, Meet24 and Meet4U) from their respective stores after the FTC found that the titles were allowing sign-ups from kids under 13, violating COPPA and the FTC Act in the process. The developer was aware it had underage users, the FTC said, and there were "several" people who'd faced criminal charges for contacting kids through these apps.

The warning urged Wildec to "immediately remove" personal info for children, to ask for parents' permission before allowing access by minors, and to make sure all its apps honor COPPA and the FTC Act. They'll be allowed back on their respective stores if and when the creator makes the appropriate changes.

It's not certain if Wildec will comply. Whether or not it does, this is a reminder that issues with underage users aren't necessarily limited to apps known to have younger audiences -- it can be a problem with any software or site that doesn't have proper age checks.

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