Celebrity fan website operator fined

Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:50 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A music fan website operator will pay a $1 million fine over charges it improperly collected personal information from children under 13, U.S. officials said.

Artist Arena, which runs fan sites for artists such as Justin Beiber and Rihanna, was accused of violating Federal Trade Commission rules requiring website operators to notify parents and obtain their consent before they collect, use or disclose personal information from children under 13.

In its complaint the FTC said Artist Arena collected children's names, addresses, email addresses, birth dates, gender and other information without properly notifying parents or obtaining their consent.

The settlement, agreed to by Artist Arena, will impose a $1 million civil penalty, bar future violations of the rule, and require that Artist Arena delete information collected in violation of the rule, an FTC release said Monday.

"Marketers need to know that even a bad case of Bieber Fever doesn't excuse their legal obligation to get parental consent before collecting personal information from children," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.

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