CARU Recommends Jump Start Modify Website, Revise Privacy Policy to Better Comply with Guidelines, COPPA

New York, NY – April 7, 2015  – Jump Start, operator of the website www.schoolofdragons.com, said it will revise the site’s privacy practices and its 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 website came to CARU’s attention through CARU’s regular monitoring practices.

The website features several changing animated backgrounds of dragons and fanciful scenery from the movie “How to Train Your Dragon.”  Visitors to the site can participate in activities that include raises and training their own dragon. The site also features games, coloring pages, guides for raising dragons and a quiz about the dragons from the movie.

Following its initial review of the site, CARU questioned whether Jump Start:

  • Implemented proper age-screening mechanisms, used in conjunction with technology, e.g., a session cookie, to help prevent underage children from going back and changing their age.
  • Obtained proper verifiable parental consent prior to the collection or disclosure of personally identifiable information.
  • Collected persistent identifiers that might be used to recognize a user over time and across different websites.

Further, CARU determined that the site’s privacy policy included contradictory information and did not comply with COPAA.

In response to CARU’s inquiry, Jump Start began modifications to the site and revisions to the privacy policy.

CARU noted in its decision that it was pleased the site operator “had agreed to participate in CARU’s self-regulatory program  and implement changes to bring the Website’s privacy and advertising practices into compliance  with its guidelines and COPPA.