ONLINE MARKETING TO CHILDREN UNDER 13 YEARS OF AGE
This Article applies to online marketing as follows:
Online marketers (operators of general audience websites or online services) should not knowingly collect personally identifiable information online or via wireless handsets or devices from a child under 13 without prior verifiable parental consent and direct parental notification of the nature and intended use of such information, and shall provide an opportunity for the parent to prevent such use and participation in the activity.
Operators of websites and online services must provide a privacy notice with clear and concise description of their information policies and practices. This notice should be easy to read on smaller screens (e.g., mobile devices.) for parents and allow them to provide verifiable consent.
Marketers are not required to ask the age of a child and may rely on the information provided by the user. Marketers may age screen users and apply notice and consent requirements only for users that identify themselves as being under age 13. If an operator later determines that a particular user is a child under the age of 13, parental notice and consent requirements are triggered.
Online and wireless/mobile contact information should only be used to directly respond to an activity initiated by a child and not to re-contact a child for other purposes without verifiable prior parental consent.
Marketers should not knowingly collect, without verifiable prior parental consent, personally identifiable information online or via a wireless handset or device from children that would permit any offline contact with the child.
Marketers should not knowingly distribute to any third parties, without verifiable prior parental consent, information collected from a child that would permit any contact with that child.
Marketers should take reasonable steps to prevent the online publication or posting of information that would allow a third party to contact a child offline unless the marketer has verifiable prior parental consent.
Marketers should not entice a child online to divulge personally identifiable information by the prospect of a special game, prize, or other offer.
Marketers should not make a child’s access to website or mobile content contingent on the collection of personally identifiable information. Only online contact information used to enhance the interactivity of the site is permitted.
The following assumptions underlie these online guidelines:
- When a marketer directs a site at a certain age group, it can expect that the visitors to that site are in that age range, and
- When a marketer asks the age of the child, the marketer can assume the answer to be truthful.