Operator of Celebrity Fan Websites Hit With Costly COPPA Violation
by Anthony Caruso on November 16, 2012
The operator of celebrity fan websites for music stars Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez will pay $1 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The FTC alleged that the websites collected personal information from children under 13 without their parents’ consent.
According to the FTC, Artist Arena operated fan websites such as www.RihannaNow.com, www.DemiLovatoFanClub.net, www.BieberFever.com, and www.SelenaGomez.com where children were able to register to join a fan club, create profiles and post on members’ walls. According to the complaint, Artist Arena knowingly registered over 25,000 children under age 13 and collected and maintained personal information from almost 75,000 additional children who began, but did not complete the registration process. The information was collected without prior parental consent.
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