Thursday, October 04, 2012
FTC fines operator of some celebrity fan sites for collecting minors' info illegally
Several celebrity “fan sites” have settled with the FTC over alleged violations of COPPA and FTC rules. The operator (of sites “BieberFever.com”, “SelenaGo,ez.com”. RihanaNow.com”, “DemiLavoto Fan Club”, the last of which no longer operates) has agreed to pay a $1 million civil penalty.
The basic complaint seemed to be that the sites waived the requirements that children obtain parental approval before submitting requested personal information, when kids in fact did not obtain it.
Internet companies say that COPPA rules, now enhanced for mobile devices, inhibit the development of sites for children, and could leave them to visit adult sites, now considered constitutionally protected since the COPA ruling in 2007.
The link for the story by Natasha Singer in the Business Day New York Times (Bits blog) on Thursday Oct. 4 is here.