FTC Collects $35,000 in COPPA Settlement

Share this article:
The Federal Trade Commission yesterday said that it reached a $35,000 settlement with The Ohio Art Co. involving violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.


The Ohio Art Co. operates a Web site at www.etch-a-sketch.com with an "Etchy's Birthday Club" section aimed at children younger than 13. COPPA requires Web sites that collect information from children younger than 13 to obtain parental consent and to post privacy policies.


In its complaint, the FTC accused The Ohio Art Co. of collecting personally identifiable information from children younger than 13 without parental consent. The FTC also alleged that the site collected more information from children than was necessary and failed to provide parents access to the personal information collected.


In addition to the $35,000 settlement, future data collection by The Ohio Art Co. must comply with COPPA.


The settlement was the sixth civil penalty case brought by the FTC since COPPA took effect April 21, 2000.


Other Web sites such as jollytime.com, lisafrank.com, girlslife.com, bigmailbox.com and insidetheweb.com settled similar charges with the FTC earlier this year and last year.


The FTC also announced other COPPA-related news yesterday.


Results of an April 2001 COPPA compliance survey of 144 children's Web sites showed that almost 90 percent of Web sites collecting personal information from children had privacy policies as opposed to 24 percent in a 1998 survey.


Only half of the sites surveyed, however, were in total compliance with COPPA, which could lead to more legal action by the FTC. It sent letters to more than 50 children's Web site operators warning them of COPPA violations.


Finally, the FTC extended the sliding scale mechanism for obtaining parental consent under COPPA until April 21, 2005. It was to have expired April 21 of this year. The rule allows Web sites that only use children's personal information internally to obtain parental consent via e-mail.


The rule will be reviewed again in 2005.


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in News

Hawk Search Widens its Global Reach

Hawk Search Widens its Global Reach

Hawk Search's solution offers support for more than twice as many languages as other site search providers, according to the company.

Candidates Offer Change In The Form of Targeting

Candidates Offer Change In The Form of Targeting

A campaign for Ben Carson raised $2.8 million despite his lack of cooperation.

Target Names Retail Veteran Brian Cornell as CEO

Target Names Retail Veteran Brian Cornell as CEO

He leaves the top job at PepsiCo Foods to take the spot vacated by Greg Steinhafel in the aftermath of the data breach.