BBB National Programs Archive

Following CARU Inquiry, Art for Kids Modifies Website to ‘Better Protect Children’s Privacy

New York,  NY – Oct. 28,  2015 – Art for Kids, LLC, operator of the website, has modified its website and advertising practices to better protect children’s privacy, following an inquiry by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit.

CARU is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation. It is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. CARU monitors advertising to children in all media. CARU also examines websites and apps for compliance with CARU’s Self-Regulatory Program for Children’s Advertising – which includes guidelines on online privacy protection – and the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The site is an extension of a video series, Art for Kids Hub, that appears on the YouTubeKids app. The site features videos that teach children how to draw, paint and sculpt.  It also contains instructional videos for children under 5, a parent/teacher area and a shopping area.

Upon its initial review of the site, CARU noted that the site appeared to collect personally identifiable information (PII)  and allowed children to publicly post comments and photos of themselves on its blog and Club features without first obtaining prior verifiable parental consent, that the site’s privacy policy was not located at its homepage and that the site utilized a third-party service that appeared to collect persistent identifiers from visitors to display targeted advertising without obtaining verifiable parental consent.

In response to CARU’s inquiry, the site operator modified the site to allow guests to post comments without submitting an email address or signing up for a third-party service.  The operator also agreed to moderate all comments and photos prior to posting them on the website and agreed to delete any comments or photos that included PII. The Operator deleted the Club feature from the Website, put a link to the privacy policy on the homepage and notified its third-party advertising service that it is a site directed to children to prevent the collection of personal identifiers from users on its site for advertising purposes.

Art For Kids Hub, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “accepts CARU’s decision in its entirety and has made the changes to its Website, implementing CARU’s recommendations.”