PRIVACY / REGULATORY AFFAIRS
Sony BMG Music Entertainment has agreed to pay $1 million to settle charges that it violated US law by collecting personal information online from children under the age of 13. Sony BMG agreed to the payment as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over charges it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The FTC had alleged that Sony BMG, through its music fan Web sites, had improperly collected and disclosed personal information from thousands of children under the age of 13, without their parents’ consent. Users are required to submit their date of birth to register for the sites, the FTC said, and on 196 sites, Sony BMG knowingly collected personal information from at least 30,000 underage children without parental consent which also meant that this might allow children to interact with adults through comments, message boards and other forums.