FTC's Settlement with Google Praised/Warns about Google's plans to further target kids online
By: Jeff Chester | Sep 4 2014
Statement of Hudson Kingston, CDD Legal Director:
We are pleased to see the FTC stepping up to stop app and other online stores from charging parents for in-app purchases made by unsuspecting children, who did not understand what they were doing when they clicked “buy.” Google allowed developers to market apps that took advantage of children’s developmental vulnerabilities, including impulsive behavior and gullibility. FTC action was necessary to ensure that Google changed policies that encouraged in-app purchases from children without first making sure a parent was informed and consented to the sale. This settlement illustrates why CDD and other privacy groups are alarmed about Google’s recently-reported plans to begin tracking children 12 and younger. Advocates and parents are rightfully wondering how can this company be trusted as it turns its powerful online marketing apparatus towards kids? Google needs to reassess its plans and make sure that parents’ rights are respected and children are not aggressively profiled and targeted on its watch.