View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
October 5, 2012

Artist Arena fined for illegally collecting children’s data

Website operator collected children's names, addresses, email addresses, birth dates, gender and other information

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has asked Artist Arena, the operator of fan websites for music stars Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez, to pay $1m to resolve claims that it illegally collected personal data on children.

The US trade watchdog alleged that the website operator violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by illegally gathering personal information from children of below 13 years of age without acquiring consent from their parents.

FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said marketers need to know that even a bad case of Bieber Fever doesn’t excuse their legal obligation to get parental consent before collecting personal information from children.

"The FTC is in the process of updating the COPPA Rule to ensure that it continues to protect kids growing up in the digital age," Leibowitz said.

Artist Arena’s fan websites that allowed children to register to join a fan club, create profiles and post on members’ walls as well as subscribe for fan newsletters include,,, and

FTC alleged that Artist Arena wrongly claimed that it would not collect personal information of children ahead of parental consent and that it will not be activating a child’s registration prior to parental consent.

The agency filed in its complaint that Artist Arena deliberately registered over 25,000 children under age 13 and collected and preserved personal information from about 75,000 additional children who commenced, however had not completed the registration procedure.

Content from our partners
Five key challenges facing the fashion industry
<strong>How to get the best of both worlds in the hybrid cloud</strong>
The key to good corporate cybersecurity is defence in depth

As part of the registration procedure, the website operator collected children’s names, addresses, email addresses, birthdates, gender and other data without appropriately informing parents or attaining their approval.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.