F.T.C is working on revising the law for advertising to children
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/22/2012 -- The New York Times has reported that several advocacy organizations have filed complaints with the FTC, alleging that McDonalds and four other companies (including Viacom and General Mills) are exploiting a legal loophole in their online marketing to kids.
McDonald’s is being accused of reprehensible marketing to kids via online games. In contrast to standard corporate fashion, these companies are not actually asking 9-year-olds for their email addresses. The children’s online Privacy Protection Act requires sites to get parental permission for verifiable consent before they can collect the personal info of children younger than 13 years of age.
HappyMeal.com and five other sites stand accused of finding a loop hole in the system to get the information they need through online games featured on their websites.
“In complaints to the F.T.C., the coalition says six popular Web sites aimed at children have violated that law by encouraging children who play brand-related games or engage in other activities to provide friends’ e-mail addresses – without seeking prior parental consent.”
The companies who have responded to the allegations have said that they are not doing anything wrong and their practices are fully compliant with existing laws.
The FTC is currently updating rules regarding online privacy for children, taking into account technologies like “cookies”, which store information in both a sending and receiving capacity.
McDonalds will want to get as many email addresses as it can get before the FTC clears out this loophole for sure.
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