Build-A-Bear Website, Social media and COPPA

On the date of June 24, 2013 an article was posted by Susan Ross (US) on Norton Rose Fulbright website. The Build-A-Bear workshops website is aimed mainly at children under the age of 13, since they are aiming their products at thirteen- year olds they are potentially subject to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Which means that no personal information is released or showed without the parents permission because of the childs age. To summarized, Build-A-Bear claimed that their website had a update that overwritten their age-gate-cookie data, the update aloud children to use the back button on the website to change their ages which violate the children’s privacy federal law. Not only were they violating the federal children’s privacy law also on their website they have links going to Twitter and Pinterest, two websites who are not aimed towards children that are thirteen or under the age of thirteen. This raised an issue under the COPPA, so Build-A-Bear had to restore their age-gating cookie and remove the two links to Twitter and Pinterest from their page. The FTC(Federal Trade Commission) takes children-directed websites very seriously for example, on February 1st, 2013 they fined Path Inc. Eight-Hundred Thousands dollars for violation the Children’s Online Privacy Protection ACT (COPPA).

Sources

http://www.socialmedialawbulletin.com/2013/06/buildabearwebsitesocialmediaandcoppa/

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