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Sony Pays $1M for Violating Children's Rights

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.

According to the FTC, the Commission’s complaint also charged Sony Music with violating Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act by falsely stating in its privacy policy that children under 13 would be restricted from participating in webpage activities when in reality, anyone under 13 was able to register just fine.

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.”