Gov't fines technology company on privacy claims

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Associated Press

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 1 at 11:34 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The operator of the popular Path social networking app is paying $800,000 to settle charges of illegally collecting personal information from mobile devices without the users' knowledge or consent.

The Federal Trade Commission says Path Inc. deceived customers — including thousands of children under 13 — by collecting names, addresses, phone numbers and emails from cellphones, even if a user did not choose to allow it.

Path allows users to create personal journals and share information with a network of up to 150 friends.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz says the agency is also unveiling new recommendations to make sure companies in the mobile market better inform consumers about data practices.

In a statement, Path says it has suspended all accounts for users under 13.

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