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I found the real reason for the under 13 years old policy at Geo.

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I found the real reason for the under 13 years old policy at Geo.
by c------, 3/24/98

 MSNBC had this article posted on their site about childrens privacy and the FTC. Take note in the article where it has the top 100 sites on the web, GeoCities has always ranked in the top 100 throuhg out the past year.

Dated March 15, 1998

The FTC has held hearings on Internet privacy and met with industry groups over the last three years, but now it’s looking at the issue in more depth. This month the agency started anonymously “sweeping” 1,200 Web sites to ascertain their privacy policies and to see whether those statements comply with federal guidelines. According to David Medine, the FTC’s associate director for credit practices, “Industry said to us, ‘Please give us a chance to self-regulate.’ This is a report card. We hope we’ll find they are successful in self-regulation, but the results will speak for themselves.”

A few dozen trained FTC Web surfers will log in to targeted sites, just like a typical user would, and keep track of the explicit personal information the site asks visitors to provide (e.g., home phone number, age, e-mail address, etc.). The FTC surveyors will also note what the site tells users about how it plans to utilize and to protect that personal information.

Who is in the crosshairs? The 1,200 sites surveyed include the 100 most popular sites for children according to Yahooligans and 100 other unranked children’s sites, the top 100 most visited sites on the Web as determined by the FTC and 900 sites chosen from a list of 250,000 compiled by Dun & Bradstreet.

Many Web sites should be alarmed by the sweep. FTC regulations state that when sites post guidelines about how they use personal information, those sites must adhere to those policies or they may be violating federal law. Children’s Web sites are under even stricter FTC standards. If they misrepresent the reason why they’ve collected personal information from kids it’s considered a deceptive trade practice. If a site collects that information and gives it to a third party without alerting parents, the FTC considers that an unfair trade practice. (But under current regulations, a non-children’s Web site that simply doesn’t post a privacy policy can’t be found in violation

While the point of the FTC search is ostensibly to collect information for the report to Congress, Medine said, “We may pursue charges against some of the sites, particularly children’s Web sites who may have violated federal laws.”
Here is the Link of the article



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