KleptoCats App Steals FTC Referral From Self-Regulatory Programs

Advertising Law

In a joint referral, the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit notified the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that HyperBeard had refused to participate in the self-regulatory review process of its data privacy practices related to children and advertising.

During a review of HyperBeard’s KleptoCats app, the two self-regulatory bodies noticed that third-party companies appeared to be collecting data through the app in a way that seemed to conflict with both the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles and CARU’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines.

The accountability program and CARU made “repeated attempts” to contact HyperBeard, but were unable to establish a line of communication with the company. After a final attempt, the self-regulatory bodies initiated the joint referral to the FTC.

“It’s unfortunate that the company didn’t participate, especially given our concerns about the possible collection of data from children without parental consent,” Jon Brescia, director of adjudications and technology for the accountability program, said in a statement.

To read the press release, click here.

Why it matters: CARU and the accountability program jointly monitor the mobile app marketplace for compliance with their respective codes, the self-regulatory bodies explained. Advertisers should note that their referrals can result in enforcement actions by the FTC and civil monetary penalties. For an example, see the recent $5.7 million fine paid by Musical.ly in a settlement with the agency after a referral from CARU.



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