back to article Viacom, Mattel and pals busted for stalking kids with creepy web ads

A group of toy and children's entertainment giants have been lightly fined for letting advertisers illegally track kids online. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and a group of state Attorneys General (AGs) have told Viacom, Mattel, Hasbro, and JumpStart to cough up some change for multiple violations of the Children's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guantanamo Bay Barbie

    Just stick all the CEO's in there for a few months, then maybe they'll get it.

    1. FuzzyWuzzys

      Re: Guantanamo Bay Barbie

      Even easier, find them and superglue one of those creepy Barbies to the each side of their heads, let them see how it feels to have every word captured and uploaded to "da tubes"!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can this precident be applies to say... Google?

    I do not want to be

    -Tracked by you or anyone. Privacy is important and I don't want you of Facebook invading it.

    -See any form of Advertising unless I specifically ask for it which will be never in a million years.

    -Have my life in your AI

    In return, I promise not to use any of your so called 'free' services.



    Then up yours.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Can this precident be applies to say... Google?

      Google is a monopoly even though they haven't been declared a monopoly.

      They can track you now without using cookies.

      But the scariest thing was a friend was surfing the web on his phone and when he walked in to his bathroom to use the throne, he got served an ad for toilet paper. I kid you not.

  3. Mage Silver badge


    Small change fine

    Also why are they allowed to do it to ANYONE?

  4. Lord_Beavis


    How do we make it look like we all are children so they wont track us?

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Graham Lockley

    Pedophile stalks children = Jail sentence

    Advertisers stalk children = mild rebuke

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does this ruling only apply to children in the US ?

  7. Terry 6 Silver badge

    If even they (Mattel etc.) will do this to kids...

    ...then does anybody reading the thread about privacy in regard to Google's tracking still think that it's OK to let them get on with it?

    Or to put it another way, no matter how cynical and suspicious some of us may be about Google's behaviour, that's nothing to how cynical we ought to be if even toy companies act like this.

  8. Mephistro Silver badge

    " an astonishing $835,000"

    Yeah, truly astonishing!

    Multiply that amount by one hundred -for each of the companies listed- and they may start paying attention.

    The fine is ridiculous and the two years investigation probably costed the taxpayers several times the amount fined.

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: " an astonishing $835,000"

      I believe there was an article regarding MS valuing linkedin data at $600 dollars per person, I would say a suitable fine is 1K given to each child who logged in and was tracked. Plus all taxpayer costs paid for the investigation.

  9. Dan 55 Silver badge

    On a similar subject...

    ... Lego games on the Play Store push kids (or rather, their parents using the power of the kid nagging) into opening a Lego ID after every play and there doesn't seem any way around it apart from exiting and opening the app again.

    So I'll show him how to to exit and open the app again.

    Bloody stalkers on the Internet. They're everywhere.

  10. Timbo

    ehh ??

    "collecting and sharing such information on users under the age of 13 is a violation of COPPA."

    So, collecting the data is illegal ?

    "Under the terms of the settlements, the companies will all agree to place additional oversight on their third-party advertisers, including regular scans to monitor how advertisers are collecting data and background checks for ad partners.

    The sites will also be required to keep detailed accounts of how data is collected and provide that information to parents upon request."

    and apart from a small fine, they are going to be allowed to continue "collecting data" - though they need to document what they collect.

    So, having been found guilty of collecting data illegally, they are allowed to carry on ? If it was me, I'd have shut down the servers collecting the data as well as banning the sale of the "toys" that were "collecting data". That'll teach 'em !!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: ehh ??

      They are allowed to collect some data, but it's stringent enough that even Facebook don't want to deal with child accounts (but they know everyone, including parents, fiddles the birth date anyway).

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