Oath, Verizon Subsidiary to Pay Largest-Ever COPPA Enforcement Fine in the US for Targeting Ads to Children
Oath, a Verizon subsidiary that is an ad tech division created from the merging of AOL and Yahoo, just agreed to pay nearly $5 million to settle charges with the New York Attorney General's office. The company's advertising practices online were said to have violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This is the largest penalty a company has agreed to pay since COPPA was enacted in 1998.
COPPA requires companies to obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting children's personal information. According to Barbara D. Underwood, New York's attorney general, "AOL flagrantly violated the law--and children's privacy..."
The New York Times reported that AOL, through its ad exchange was placing targeted ads on hundreds of websites that it knew were directed to children under 13. The ads were chosen by utilizing personally identifiable information of children, in violation of COPPA.
Visit the New York Times online for further information about the New York attorney general action against Oath.