Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Center for Digital Democracy challenges "self-regulation" under COPPA over problems and Marvel, Sanrio

The Center for Digital Democracy has filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission about information collection practices of both “Marvel Kids” and Sanrio, which are said to violate recent FTC rules regarding implementing COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. . Slate has a detailed blog posting about the case here
In general, the companies are said to be enticing children to share information without seeking required parental permissions.  Slate gives some discussion of the Hello Kitty Carival from Marvel.
Slate linked to the Digital Democracy complaint here  and also discusses the Children’s Advertising Review Unit. 
COPPA is said to have a de facto “safe harbor” provision that encourages self-regulation.  It is also supposed to apply to sites that intentionally market to children or who know that minors are providing information online.  It is not completely clear that it could not affect a site intended for the “general public”. There was some discussion of this aspect of COPPA here Jan. 1, 2013. 
This situation can test whether “self-regulation” within the child-site industry can keep problems from spreading. 

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