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December 19, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Dec. 19, 2012

SpongeBob App Pulled Over Privacy Issues

Privacy continues to be an issue for children’s app makers.

The SpongeBob Diner Dash app was pulled from Apple’s iTunes app store this week after a privacy advocate group complained it had violated children’s privacy rights.

Nickelodeon removed the app after the Center for Digital Democracy contacted the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue a complaint.

The Center for Digital Democracy said children’s e-mail addresses had been collected without parental consent.

“The SpongeBob Diner Dash game asks children to provide a wide range of personal information, including full name, email address, and other online contact information, without providing notice to parents or obtaining prior parental consent, as required by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act,” a statement by the organization reads.

Children’s app Mobbles was temporarily pulled last week after the organization filed a similar complaint with the FTC.

Google Maps for iOS Downloaded 10M-Plus Times in Two Days

Google Maps for iOS was downloaded more than 10 million times less than 48 hours after its release, Google has announced.

We’re excited for the positive reception of Google Maps for iPhone around the world,” writes Google’s Jeff Huber in a Google+ post. “Congratulations to the Maps team on the recognition for the passion and hard work they poured into it, for this release and over the last seven-plus years.”

Google launched the app Dec. 13 in response to Apple’s decision to replace the search engine’s app with its own. Apple’s Maps app has been widely criticized for its errors and inaccuracies.

Google Maps for iOS can be downloaded on iTunes.

YouTube Launches App for Immediate Video Posting

YouTube has launched its Capture app for iPhone and iPod touch users.

The app allows users to capture and share videos instantly on the Google-owned video-sharing site.

“Capture life’s moments in fewer clicks and less lag time,” the website reads. “YouTube Capture was designed for speed.”

Users can also add a caption and a location before uploading to YouTube and sharing on sites such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter simultaneously.

YouTube Capture also has editing/enhancing options such as automatic color correction, stabilization, trimming and music tracks.