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US: Hasbro and Mattel among toy firms to take new steps in children’s online privacy

Hasbro and Mattel are among four toy companies who have agreed to stop allowing online marketers track children’s habits online.

The global toymakers have been part of a quartet of toymakers including JumpStart Games and Viacom to have undergone a two-year investigation for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

In a ruling laid out by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the four companies will pay a combined total of $835,000 in fines and have agreed to reform measures to ensure they comply with COPPA in the future.

While according to the state’s head prosecutor, Viacom, Mattel, JumpStart and Hasbro hadn’t built native tools to track personal identifiers such as cookies and IP addresses, there were contracting with third party companies that did not comply to a federal law that limits marketing to children under the age of 13.

The four have now agreed to ensure that they work only with third party companies that obey the law.

In a first of its kind agreement and a new development for the protection of online privacy in the US, the companies will also perform regular audits of their sits to ensure no new tracking tools have been introduced.

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