We’ve all signed up for sites that have a little box you’re supposed to tick if you’re over 13. Those under 13 are supposed to get parental consent for using these websites because in order to register, you have to hand over certain information like your name or date of birth. Sony BMG has a whole rake of artists, many of them popular with young people and so the issue of children’s privacy is obviously something the company should be paying full attention to.
The million quid fine aside, the complaint requires Sony to provide resources to parents and their children about children’s privacy in general and in particular. For the next five years Sony Music must link to certain FTC consumer education materials.
“Sites with social networking features, like any Web sites, need to get parental consent before collecting kids’ personal information,” said FTC Chairman William E. Kovacic. “Sony Music is paying the penalty for falling down on its COPPA obligations.”