BBB National Programs Archive

CARU Recommends USA BMX/BMX Canada Modify Website to Better Protect Children’s Privacy Company Agrees to Do So

New York, NY – September 6, 2012– The Children’s Advertising Review Unit has recommended that the USA BMX/BMX Canada modify its website – www.usabmx.com – to better protect children’s privacy. The company has agreed to do so.

CARU is an investigative unit of the advertising industry system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

The website came to the attention of CARU through CARU’s routine monitoring. CARU monitors websites for compliance with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising, including guidelines on Online Privacy Protection, as well as with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

An advertisement in Sports Illustrated Kids Magazine featured several children on BMX bikes.  Children were invited, via the advertisement, to race their bikes at different locations around the United States in connection with a special event called “Olympic Day 2012.”

The ad directed readers to register at www.usabmx.com.

Upon its initial review, CARU determined that the site’s registration feature allowed visitors to post both first and last name, email address, and password, but did not screen for age to determine whether a potential member was under 13.

CARU was concerned that the operator did not have in place neutral age screening mechanism prior to the collection of personally identifiable information.

Upon receiving CARU’s initial inquiry, the operator stated that it would make the necessary changes to bring the site into compliance with the CARU’s guidelines and COPPA.

The company, in its operator’s statement, said it accepted “CARU’s decision in its entirety” and would modify its website in accordance with CARU’s guidelines.