HarperCollins gathered personal information from children illegally

The Children’s Advertising Review Unit announced that  it has recommended that HarperCollins Publishers modify its information collection practices on its Ruby Redfort child-directed website  to better protect the privacy of children under 13  and that the  Company has agreed to do so. CARU is the children’s arm of the advertising industry’s self-regulation system and is administered by the Council for Better Business Bureau.

What’s easier and creepier than taking candy from babies? Nabbing some of their personal data. This week a unit from Better Business Bureaus (BBB) took HarperCollins to task for collecting “personally identifiable” information from children under the age of 13 without their parents’ consent. When kids visited a HarperCollins’ RubyRedfort.com site they would find a page encouraging them to share personal information. Such behavior is against the law under the newly updated federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which went into effect this past summer. COPPA requires that websites have safeguards in place to vet that an actual parent is giving their consent for data release.

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