The company that runs Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Rihanna's fansites among others is forced to pay fine after unlawfully gathering personal information from children. Artist Arena, which is owned by Warner Music, has agreed to pay the $1 million fine.
Federal Trade Commission complained that the fansites failed to obtain parental consent for about 101,000 children under 13 who signed up to such sites as BieberFever.com, SelenaGomez.com and RihannaNow.com. Artist Arena has therefore violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa). None of the artists have been accused of any wrongdoing.
"These were fan sites that knew that a very substantial percentage of users were 12 or under," said David C. Vladeck, the director of the F.T.C.'s bureau of consumer protection. "There is really no excuse for violations like these."
The settlement will still need approval from a judge. Artist Arena will also have to delete all the personal data it has collected from the kids and update its registration process.