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Author Topic: Kids should Ho Ho Hold the sensitive info when writing to Santa on the Internet  (Read 2405 times)

Offline CareDC

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"Dear Santa" websites may not turn out to be as jolly as they look, warns a U.S. advertising regulator.

More than 60 Internet domains have been registered in the name of Santa Claus offering kids a chance to email the portly purveyor of gifts, according to the U.S. Children's Advertising Review Unit which is urging parents to be vigilant.

While the organization hasn't received any complaints, director Wayne Keeley says it's good practice for parents to check a site's privacy policies and to monitor their kids to ensure they don't reveal too much personal information.

"The Dear Santa letters, a lot of times, are very attractive to children and directed to children and sometimes the website operators themselves may not be cognizant of all the issues surrounding a child audience," he said. "You have to be careful where you're soliciting, perhaps even inadvertently, personally identifiable information that can be traced back to the child."

Privacy policies should explain whether sites share information with third parties, including advertisers, whether they publicly disclose all information for instance, by posting children's letters or retain them for future purposes, CARU said.

Kids should avoid revealing their full names, phone numbers, addresses and schools, said CARU staff attorney Angela Tiffin, adding such data could be used by predators.

"Santa already knows where all the children live," CARU said.


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