NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that he has reached a $100,000 settlement with a software company that allegedly sold children's private online conversations to marketing agencies.
New York-based software company Echometrix sells parental Internet monitoring software so parents and guardians can monitor what their children are doing and saying on the Internet.
In June 2009, the company started to offer a program called "Pulse" to marketing companies that used its Internet monitoring software to secretly gather and analyze children's private online instant messaging conversations, Cuomo says.
Echometrix allegedly never let the parents and guardians who used its Internet monitoring programs know that it was collecting these conversations for marketing purposes.
"Echometrix sells software that protects children by gathering information for parents about what their kids are doing online, but at the same time it was marketing its data to outside companies without its customer's knowledge," Cuomo said.
"This settlement prevents Echometrix from using the guise of children's safety to undermine children's privacy. As my office works to ensure that the Internet is a safe place for children, we encourage all parents and guardians to maintain an active interest in what their children are doing online."
In addition to the $100,000 penalty, Echometrix, which cooperated fully with Cuomo's office, will no longer analyze or share with third parties any private communications, information or online activity that it has gathered from its monitoring. The company has also stopped offering the Pulse product.