Iconix Brand Group, which sells clothing to children, ran afoul of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and the agency’s own COPPA Rule, and will pay $250K to put the matter in the rear view mirror. It was collecting kids’ vital stats without first getting parental consent.
The company’s kid-friendly brands include Mudd, Candie’s, Bongo, and OP.
According to the FTC, “Iconix required consumers on many of its brand-specific Web sites to provide personal information, such as full name, e-mail address, zip code, and in some cases mailing address, gender, and phone number – as well as date of birth – in order to receive brand updates, enter sweepstakes contests, and participate in interactive brand-awareness campaigns and other Web site features.”
“Companies must provide parents with the opportunity to say ‘no thanks’ to the collection and disclosure of their children’s personal information,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “Children’s privacy is paramount, and Iconix really missed the boat by denying parents control over their kids’ information online.”
The company received info from about a thousand children, which is must delete as part of the FTC settlement.
RBR-TVBR observation: This could potentially be a danger for broadcasters with kid- or teen-friendly programming. Forewarned is forearmed.