Sony BMG is going to cough up $1 million to the FTC, in a deal to settle charges that the company was collecting information on children in an illegal manner. Sony was cited for violating COPPA, primarily through information harvested from social networking sites and children under the age of 13. The information was all fairly general, such as names, birthdates, email addresses, phone numbers and a bit more. It's pretty standard fare for a company to harvest that sort of information from their customer base, but Sony in this case earned the ire of the FTC due to the age of a large chunk of them.
This hasn't been the only bad news from Sony this week. On Tuesday, we learned that the company was going to cut a swath of employees, upwards of 8,000, on top of closing several factories to cut costs. The amount of money they expect to save through these cuts, however, vastly outweighs this FTC settlement which is truly minor in comparison. In reality, this is only a slap on the wrist for Sony.