Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Risks Children May Face When Using Some of their Favorite Online Apps

Between tablets, computers and mobile phones, kids are spending countless hours online every day--and their personal information may not be as secure as you may think. The Better Business Bureau, in a recent article in the Midland Reporter-Telegram warns parents that some mobile applications on tablets and mobile phones may be siphoning children's data. In a report by the Federal Trade Commission ( the FTC) at the end of 2013, it was reported that in many cases, developers are sharing data collected from children like the child's location, telephone number and other information obtained from the mobile device.

The Midland Reporter-Telegram reports some great advice that CARU gives about how to help parents protect their kids from unauthorized access to their information. To read about CARU's advice, check out this article on the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

If you have a complaint about an app or any advertising that is directed to children, click here where you can let CARU know.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Join CARU for its Annual California Conference About Marketing to Children

It's that time of year again: CARU's 4th Annual West Coast Conference: Marketing to Children in a Digital Landscape. The conference is going to be held May 7th, 2014 at The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, CA.
Hear from the experts about the legal and practical challenges posed by implementing the FTC's new Children’s Privacy Regulations as they apply to Apps, social media, websites and more. Panelists will examine domestic and global challenges to self-regulation of advertising to children including social media, mobile marketing, and advertising and marketing in Latino markets.

The conference will also provide attendees with practical information to enhance their ability to navigate the children’s advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, specifically CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for children’s advertising. 
This year there will also be a special workshop focusing on Food and Beverage marketing to children. This will be held the day before the main conference on May 6th, also at The Beverly Hilton from 2-4:30pm. Panelists will discuss practical considerations for running a successful children's food & beverage advertising campaign.
The event has been submitted for approximately 4-6 CLE credits.
To secure a seat at the conference, visit CARU online to register. To book a room online, visit the Beverly Hilton.

Friday, March 28, 2014

FTC Approves Final Order in Apple Inc. Case Charging for Kids’ In-App Purchases Without Parental Consent

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order resolving FTC allegations that Apple Inc. unfairly charged consumers for in-app purchases incurred by children without first obtaining their parents’ consent.
The settlement was first announced by the Commission in January. In its complaint, the agency alleged that Apple failed to notify parents that entering their password would approve a purchase and then open a 15-minute window in which unlimited charges could be made without authorization. In the complaint, the FTC cited examples of children incurring thousands of dollars in in-app purchases without their parents’ consent.
According to the settlement, Apple must change its billing practices by March 31, 2014 and ensure that it has obtained express, informed consent from consumers before charging them for in-app purchases.
Apple also must provide full refunds, totaling a minimum of $32.5 million, to consumers who were billed for in-app purchases that were incurred by children and were either accidental or not authorized by the consumer. Should Apple issue less than $32.5 million in refunds to consumers within the 12 months after the settlement becomes final, the company must remit the balance to the Commission. By April 15, 2014, Apple must notify all consumers charged for in-app purchases with instructions on how to obtain a refund for unauthorized purchases by kids.
For more information about this case as well as the other FTC cases, visit the FTC online.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Davis & Gilbert Law Firm Features CARU's Work in a Year in Review

Davis & Gilbert LLP took a moment to remind advertisers who market to children that even though 2013 brought a heavy focus on learning how to comply with the FTC’s changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CARU) continued to open cases involving advertisements that were directed to children and failed to comply with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children’s Advertising.

To gain insight into what happened with CARU and its inquiries in 2013 check out Davis & Gilbert's helpful summary here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Social Media Week Hits New York This February

Social Media Week begins February 17-21st 2014 in New York City. Industry experts will descend on Manhattan to discuss how new technologies and media platforms are shaping our lives and the marketing world. This year's schedule offers tons of events and ways to network, collaborate and learn from big brands and professionals. 
Sign up quickly because many events are already filling up--including a panel CARU will be speaking on, "Advertising and Legal Issues in Social Media: How to Get it Right." The panel will address practical implications of utilizing social media and advertising in the self-regulatory world.  Click HERE for more information about this panel. 
This year’s notable speakers include Buzzcar’s Robin Chase, Founder of Zipcar; Steve Case, Founder & CEO of Revolution and Founder of the Case Foundation; John Borthwick, CEO of betaworks; Eli Pariser, CEO of Upworthy; Scott Heiferman, CEO of Meetup; Cindy Gallop, Founder of MakeLoveNotPorn; Jonah Peretti, Founder of & CEO of BuzzFeed; Nancy Lublin, CEO of Do Something; Douglas Rushkoff, author of “Present Shock”; Harper Reed, CEO, Lunar Technology Corporation and many more.

Keep up with Social Media Week on Twitter @SocialMediaWeek. For more information and to learn about all the events, click HERE

FTC Settles with Companies Falsely Purporting to Comply with Safe Harbor

Last week, twelve companies, representing several industries, ranging from retail to professional sports, were charged with falsely representing that they held current European Safe Harbor certifications when they had actually allowed these certifications to lapse. Several of the companies handled sensitive consumer data. The Federal Trade Commission held that such misconduct violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. This case signals to companies that they cannot claim participation in any program without consequences and also ensures the integrity of Safe Harbors. 
Visit the FTC Website for more information.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Facebook Provides Useful Information for Child-Directed Sites and Services

If you run a child-directed website or service you’ve probably been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately with all the changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). Hopefully at this point you are aware that you are responsible for information collected from any social plugins you host on your website. Determining whether your plugins though are doing so is not as easy as it may sound. Facebook created a checklist for child-directed sites and services to give you advice on whether you comply with Facebook’s Platform policies and COPPA. Find out the precise code you should and should not be be using on your site with regards to Facebook’s plugins.

Learn more on Facebook.