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United States v. Path

2012 WL 7006381 (2012)

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United States v. Path

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

2012 WL 7006381 (2012)

Facts

The United States government (plaintiff) brought a complaint against Path, Inc. (defendant), alleging that Path violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA). Specifically, the United States alleged the following. (1) Path operated a social-networking website that allowed individuals to post a personal journal that they could share with their network. (2) Upon a user’s registration for its website, Path required the user to supply her email address and name. (3) Path also gave a user the option to enter his date of birth. Upon being given a user’s date of birth, Path was able to decipher the user’s age. (4) From November 14, 2010, to May 4, 2012, Path knowingly accepted the registration of approximately 3,000 individuals with birth dates indicating that they were children under the age of 13. (5) Path collected the personal information of children and permitted the children to publicly disclose the information without providing adequate notice to the children or their parents, and without receiving the parents’ consent for such use. The government claimed that this alleged conduct violated COPPA.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning

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