Yelp settles FTC Suit over collecting data on children

Yelp settles FTC Suit over collecting data on children

Yelp settles FTC Suit over collecting names and email addresses from children as young as 9 without the consent of their parents.

San Francisco based online customer review stalwart Yelp has agreed to pay US $450,000 to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to settle charges after it was accused of collecting names and email addresses from children as young as 9 without the consent of their parents.

Earlier on Tuesday, the FTC had brought a complaint against the online customer-review company, stating that it is a clear violation of the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

The Federal Trade Commission’s suit against San Francisco- based Yelp follows earlier cases against Google, Apple and Amazon.com, which were also accused of failing to obtain parental approval for purchases made by children with mobile devices.

Before 2009, users could only register through the website, where Yelp had a screening mechanism to restrict users under the age of 13 from registering. However, in 2009 Yelp introduced a new registration feature in its app that allowed users to register for new accounts through the application but failed to test the age-registration feature on its applications, the Federal Trade Commission alleged in its complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

This resulted in the iOS and Android versions of the app accepting registrations and gathering information from children who signed up for an account, the complaint added. This went on until April 2013.

Yelp said that the situation emerged due to a bug in the mobile registration process that allowed registrations from individuals under 13. Adding birth dates are optional on Yelp, so users are always free to register without one, it stated.

“Only about 0.02 percent of users who actually completed Yelp’s registration process during this time period provided an underage birth date, and we have good reason to believe that many of them were actually adults,” Yelp said in a blog post.

According to the FTC complaint, Yelp is charged with violating the COPPA Rule by failing to divulge the practice, inform parents or procure parental consent before collecting, using, or disclosing personal information from children.

According to the settlement agreement filed in court yesterday, Yelp has to erase the personal information of children under 13 who registered with the service within 30 days of the entry of the order and to present a compliance report within a year specifying methods to obtain parental approval to collect minors’ information and avoid collecting children’s data.

In the second quarter of 2014, Yelp had an average of about 138 million monthly unique visitors.

Anna Domanska
Anna Domanska is an Industry Leaders Magazine author possessing wide-range of knowledge for Business News. She is an avid reader and writer of Business and CEO Magazines and a rigorous follower of Business Leaders.

Recent Posts

Inflation Brings More Worries for Investors in 2022

Inflation Brings More Worries for Investors in 2022

Inflation is chasing the investors and policy makers at a speedy rate. CPI increased by 7% in December, 2021, the highest since June, 1982.
3 hours ago
Amazon to Open First Algorithm-Based Fashion Store in LA

Amazon to Open First Algorithm-Based Fashion Store in LA

Enriching consumer experience in LA, Amazon’s Style store is transforming the ways of buying outfits through suggested algorithms.
7 hours ago
US Inflation Rate Reaches 7% Marking the Highest Since 1982

US Inflation Rate Reaches 7% Marking the Highest Since 1982

The annual inflation rate in the US hit 6.2%, recording a highest in decades. Due to an unstable inflation, consumer prices increased by 0.9 percent in October and June, 2021.
1 day ago
McDonald’s expands test with McPlant Burger to 600 New Locations

McDonald’s expands test with McPlant Burger to 600 New Locations

The McPlant Burger is coming to nearly 600 McDonald’s outlets in the Bay Area and Dallas-Forth Worth starting February 14.
2 days ago
Google’s Online Services Team Grapples with Mental Health Crisis

Google’s Online Services Team Grapples with Mental Health Crisis

In a 2019 internal document obtained by Recode, many employees attest to being demoted, ostracized, or assigned to less desirable projects for speaking out.
2 days ago
GM Offers Fans a Sneak-Peak of the New Cadillac Escalade V-Series SUV

GM Offers Fans a Sneak-Peak of the New Cadillac Escalade V-Series SUV

The running lights, too, have a classier, sporty design. Cadillac aptly captioned the video “Power has a sound – and it’s a roar.”
3 days ago