Following the FTC's announcement that it had fined social networking app Path $800,000 for violating federal children's privacy laws, the company took to its official blog to release a statement explaining what happened on its end. Path blamed both its own human error and technical glitches for allowing users under age 13 to sign up for accounts on Path without parental consent. As Path explained it its blog post:
The gist of the FTC’s complaint is this: early in Path’s history, children under the age of 13 were able to sign up for accounts. A very small number of affected accounts have since been closed by Path.
As you may know, we ask users’ their birthdays during the process of creating an account. However, there was a period of time where our system was not automatically rejecting people who indicated that they were under 13. Before the FTC reached out to us, we discovered and fixed this sign-up process qualification, and took further action by suspending any under age accounts that had mistakenly been allowed to be created.
Path went on to say it hoped that its experience would serve as a cautionary tale for other app startups. Read the full post here.