In February 2015, Attorney Dennis Herrera filed his initial complaint against the mobile-based social network for violating California law for users between 13 and 17 years of age.
Herrera claimed that various features used on MeetMe which allow users to meet new people were not suitable for young users, and called for revisions to be made to ensure the safety of minors using the network.
And, although MeetMe prohibits children under the age of 13 from using its service, Herrera declared that MeetMe used the improper consent of minor teens to collectively publish their photos, personal details and location.
The attorney commended MeetMe for “thoughtfully and responsibly” addressing the issues discussed in his complaint.
Herrera said: “MeetMe showed leadership to resolve this litigation that’s worthy of its status as a market leader. Company officials thoughtfully and responsibly considered the violations we alleged under California law, and ultimately aspired to remedies even beyond those we sought.
“Our settlement includes groundbreaking steps to protect the safety and privacy of minor teenagers, just as we’d hoped. But MeetMe deserves credit for also seeing the opportunity to expand and better explain privacy protections for the benefit of all of its users, of all ages.
“It’s an approach that will serve consumers well, and hopefully also set an industry standard for all social networks at a time when they are increasingly accessed through mobile devices.”
The settlement terms state that the social discovery platform will not communicate the locations of minor teens any more narrowly than their city and state.
It will also not show their proximity to others users any closer than “within one mile,” and the location sharing option will now default to “off” for users identified as minor teens.
The settlement agreement requires MeetMe to complete and enforce the above changes within 90 days.
MeetMe is also required to make a payment of $200,00 to the City Attorney’s Office to settle all claims for damages, attorneys’ fees and other costs.