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September 8, 2006

FTC Fines Xanga $1 Million

The Federal Trade Commission has fined the social networking site Xanga $1 million for violations of the Online Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.  Xanga apparently collected, used, and disclosed information from children under 13 without parental permission or notification. 

Xanga commented in a press release that some people registered with the birthday of their pet, or their wedding date, and for some born-again religious, the date of their conversion, which would make some people appear younger than they are.  The law does impose some requirements on commercial web sites to police their practices, which Xanga seemed to not do well.  Xanga is placing safeguards in place to avoid fines in the future as $1 million in fines is money they can't use themselves, and it is pointless to give the government money when it's possible to easily avoid doing so.  Xanga should have figured that out as part of the business model before they were sued.

FTC details are here.  The Xanga press release response is here.

September 8, 2006 | Permalink

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