Thursday, May 14, 2015

The FTC Collaborates Internationally to Protect Children's Online Privacy

Efforts are underway internationally by both the the Federal Trade Commission and 27 members of the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN), a group of privacy enforcement agencies around the world, to protect children's online privacy.
Studies by the FTC in 2012 found that many apps and websites weren't arming parents with the information they needed to make informed decisions about protecting their children's privacy. The FTC, in conjunction with privacy experts from the FTC's Office of Technology and Research and Investigation have started an initiative to analyze privacy disclosures, interactive features and information collection practices of children’s mobile apps. Findings are expected to be released before the end of the year. 
Businesses looking for guidance on how to comply with COPPA can reach out to CARU, which is the FTC's first COPPA-approved Safe Harbor program. To learn more, please contact Jay Black [ 705-0111] or Wayne Keeley (212) 705-0112. 
To learn more about the Global Privacy Enforcement Network, visit

Thursday, May 7, 2015

CARU's 2015 Annual Conference Save the Date!

CARU's Annual Conference is just around the corner so mark those calendars for September 30, 2015! It's one of the most well-attended conferences in the industry about marketing to children and you don't want to miss it! 
Expert panelists will explore the challenging issues facing companies that advertise to children.  There will be a sharp focus on mobile and online technologies and how they have changed the way companies market products, both in the US and abroad. A significant emphasis will be placed on the modifications to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Federal Trade Commission’s revisions to the COPPA Rule, including discussions on how companies are implementing new practices to comply with these changes in their online and mobile marketing.

To register, please click here.To sponsor, please contact Reshma Persaud, 212.705.0113,

CARU's Annual Supporter's Council Meeting Was a Success!

CARU held its annual Supporter's Council Meeting at Davis & Gilbert LLP this week in New York City. The Supporter's Council Meeting is a chance for CARU's supporters to meet and discuss the latest developments in the industry and pressing issues that companies are being faced with. It's a chance to network with other industry professionals as well and learn how they're dealing with them.

This year, we kicked off the day by revisiting the COPPA changes and discussed how they are continuing to affect the industry. Attendees had the chance to discuss the law's grey areas and their implications on business. CARU welcomed the feedback, which it plans to take to its ongoing discussions with the FTC about the law's more nuanced intricacies. Next, Jon Brescia from the Online Interest-Based Accountability Program spoke about evolving methods of online tracking such as cookie-less tracking on both desktop and mobile devices. Participants had a chance to learn more about the way CARU and the Accountability program work behind the scenes to identify these trackers and ensure that Safe Harbor participants aren't running afoul of COPPA's new rules.

Elaine Kolish and Maureen Enright from the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative were also present to discuss how the CFBAI harmoniously works with CARU. Discussions touched upon streaming media and how to ensure proper ad placement.

Finally, in the wake of the evolving landscape of third-party video platforms, discussion moved onto issues of blurring, endorsements and the future implications of similar platforms.

CARU also addressed its Supporters about what it's been up to in the last year and what its future plans are. CARU also asked its supporters for feedback on what they believe should be CARU's focus for the upcoming year.

Being a member of CARU gives supporters a seat at the table when discussing issues on the forefront in the industry. If your'e not already a member of CARU contact Wayne Keeley ( or Jay Black ( to discuss how you can join.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FTC Expands to Include Dedicated Office of Technology and Research

The FTC is starting up a new research sector in a recently formed Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI). The office's goal will be to expand the FTC's capacity to protect consumers in an age of rapid technological innovation. The FTC has always been on the forefront of new technology, several years ago it created a Mobil Technology Unit (MTU) to protect consumers engaged in mobile commerce. However, as technology continues to morph and evolve, it was clear that an expanded effort was needed. The OTRI will be the MTU's successor. And the FTC is hiring, so if you love all things tech, this may be your time to shine! To see more about the expanded effort as well as the positions the FTC has created, visit the FTC's blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Privacy Implications as App Use Becomes Widespread in Schools

As app use in our educational institutions is becoming more and more widespread, certain privacy concerns are raised with regards to what information they may be collecting from children. New apps are being created at such a staggering rate that schools are having a difficult time finding the time and resources to properly review them all before teachers are utilizing such digital learning tools. There are a host of concerns as educational institutions scramble to keep up with these novel learning products. 

Check out this New York Times article to learn more about school oversight and privacy risks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Legal Implications of YouTube App for Kids by Google

On February 23, 2015, Google released a child-appropriate version of YouTube for kids. The new child-appropriate platform offers parents an environment for their young ones free from targeted ads and the collection of any personal information--for now at least. Industry experts are still worried about what privacy and blurring issues the site may raise.

The new children's version of YouTube will of course have to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and one can be certain that the Federal Trade Commission will be taking a gander at Google's entry into the children's media market.

To read more about the launch of YouTube for kids and the legal concerns, read this article in Law 360 that mentions CARU's role in children's privacy as well as blurring issues.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Recent CARU Inquiry with Dave and Buster's Picked Up by CBS News

The Children's Advertising Review Unit evaluates claims made in children's advertising for both truth and accuracy. In a recent investigation into marketing practices by Dave and Buster's, CARU found that the commercial-at-issue was misleading to children. At issue was a commercial in which Dave & Buster's made the offer

Just tell us 'kids rule' and you can play video games for free until 3pm'

Under the terms of the offer, which were not made clear up front, this so-called "free play" came with many strings attached. To read the entire press release, click here.

CARU's inquiry with Dave and Buster's was in the news. CBS News reported that Dave and Buster's was scolded for false advertising to children. Check out the full article for details about what CBS reporters had to say.