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FTC fines tech giants for violating kids' privacy

Bill Snyder | Sept. 19, 2014
Privacy advocates and the FTC are putting pressure on a number of major tech companies, including Apple, Amazon and Yelp, for allowing children to register on their sites. What's the big deal? It's not about kiddie porn or fears that a child will hook up with a molester. It's something a lot less dramatic, but still very important.

According to the complaint, several thousand registrants provided a date of birth showing they were under 13 years old, but Yelp still collected personal information, including names, email addresses and locations.

Yelp commented on the settlement in a blog post, saying "Yelp doesn't promote itself as a place for children, and we certainly don't expect or encourage them to write reviews about their plumbers, dentists, or latest gastronomic discoveries. We're glad to have been able to cooperate with the FTC to get to a quick resolution and look forward to continuing our efforts to protect our users."

Sounds good, but I think there needs to be a more concerted effort on the part of the tech giants to stop such exploitive practices.


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