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Viacom International to Review Privacy Policy for Spanish-Language ‘Mundonick’ Following CARU Inquiry

New York, NY – Aug. 28, 2014 – Viacom International Media Networks, operator of the Spanish-language website Mundonick, said it would review the sites privacy policy, following an inquiry from 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 – as well as with the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The Mundonick website came to CARU’s attention through CARU’s regular monitoring practices.

The website offers games, music videos and downloadable content devoted to Nickelodeon’s children’s programming, including “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, “Sponge Bob Square Pants”, “The Thunder-mans” and “Sam and Cat.”

The website’s privacy policy contained language suggesting that Mundonick.com was intended for an audience based in the United States. Following its review of the site, CARU was concerned that the policy did not comply with CARU’s guidelines or the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). CARU also questioned whether there were persistent identifiers on the Website that might be used to recognize a user over time and across different websites.

In response to CARU’s inquiry, Viacom International presented evidence demonstrating that the website was not directed to children in the United States but was instead designed for Latin American users.

In reliance on the evidence presented, CARU determined that website was outside of its jurisdiction and administratively closed the case.

In light of CARU’s concerns, however, Viacom International asserted that it has taken a fresh look at the privacy policy and is considering making revisions to the policy to make it factually accurate and more sensitive to privacy concerns of children.