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Owners of popular kids' websites fined for tracking children online

By midian182
Sep 14, 2016
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  1. Tracking user activity as a way of serving up ads is now common across pretty much the entirety of the web, but knowingly tracking children remains illegal, and four massive media companies have just paid the price for engaging in such activities.

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that a settlement has been reached with Hasbro, JumpStart Games, Mattel and Viacom over the tracking and collection of personal information of children under the age of 13 – a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

    The two-year investigation found websites owned by the companies that are specifically aimed at children, such as those for My Little Pony, Neopets, Barbie, Dora the Explorer, Hot Wheels, and Nickelodeon, allowed third-party trackers.

    All the organizations will now have to monitor for third-party trackers, conduct regular scans and vet vendors’ data collection practices to ensure they comply with COPPA.

    Additionally, JumpStart Games, Mattel, and Viacom will have to pay a collective total of $835,000 in fines. Hasbro avoided the financial penalty as its actions were found to be less severe and it is a member of the FTC’s Safe Harbor program, which indicates a site complies with COPPA.

    "We used to worry about our children wandering into bad neighborhoods," said Schneiderman. "Now our children live online, and we have to police the internet the same way we police the streets."

    While the fine isn’t going to have much of an effect on such large firms, it at least shows that authorities are taking a stand against companies flouting the rules when it comes to monitoring the online activities of kids.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 2,788   +1,533

    We see all sorts of different companies hawking cereal, toys, etc, etc. To have them take advantage of children is deplorable. We have laws that are directed at companies not to sell liquor or cigarette's until children become "adults" and are responsible for themselves; why not make the same laws that prevent targeting of advertising and fraud against under age people a heavy crime as well? Our kids need to grow up learning to think for themselves without some GD marketer filling their heads with a bunch of useless clutter before they are responsible citizens ......
    psycros likes this.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,076

    Our kids are being assaulted by R-rated schlock every time they turn on the TV, at any hour of the day. Stupid parents buy them smartphones with no safeguards whatsoever. The state-run media is taken at its word despite an ocean of information at our fingertips that shows 70% of everything on the news to be a complete lie. *****s giving birth to more future *****s...that's all it is now.

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