CARU Recommends Gameloft Modify Website To Better Protect Children’s Privacy; Company Agrees To Do So

New York, NY – June 24, 2009 – The Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CARU) has recommended that Gameloft take steps to better protect the privacy of children who visit the company’s Website at www.gameloft.com and assure that products inappropriate for children are not advertised to children who visit the site.

The Gameloft Website came to the attention of CARU through CARU’s review of a separate Website directed to children, which included a link to Gameloft.

CARU’s Online Privacy Protection guidelines address concerns about the collection of personal data from children and other privacy-related practices on the Internet.  CARU monitors Websites directed to children under 13 years of age, and those sites where operators know or should know that a visitor is a child under the age of 13, to evaluate their compliance with its Guidelines and the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

The Gameloft Website features games that are attractive to children, such as “Totally Spies,” “Open Season,” “Night at the Museum,” “Shrek” and “Wonder Blocks,” as well as a newsletter and a forum. Gameloft also sells mobile game footage on the Website. 

CARU determined, upon its initial inquiry, that the site collected personally identifiable information (PII) from visitors seeking to purchase mobile game footage, participate in the forum or subscribe to the newsletter. CARU further determined that the site featured a category of games entitled “Sexy.”  Graphics for these games featured female nudity and sexual content. CARU found that this content was inappropriate for children. 

CARU noted that the operator, when made aware of CARU’s concerns, committed to modify the registration areas where visitors can join the forum, join the newsletter and purchase game footage for mobile phones and implement neutral age-screening, accompanied by a tracking mechanism.  To address CARU’s concerns regarding inappropriate content, Gameloft has agreed to implement neutral age-screening in order to prevent children under 13 years of age from gaining access to the content.

The company, in its operator’s statement, said “Gameloft is committed to the protection of children’s privacy and online protection in accordance with COPPA and the CARU Guidelines.  As a result, Gameloft thanks CARU for bringing these issues to its attention and appreciates its help in resolving them.”