Federal Trade Commission.
Proposed consent agreement; request for comment.
The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.
Comments must be received on or before June 22, 2020.
Interested parties may file comments online or on paper by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the Start Printed Page 31188
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Miniclip S.A.; File No. 192 3129” on your comment, and file your comment online at https://www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ryan Mehm (202-326-2918), Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580.
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Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Website (for May 19, 2020), at this web address: https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/commission-actions.
You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before June 22, 2020. Write “Miniclip S.A.; File No. 192 3129” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the https://www.regulations.gov website.
Due to the public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the agency's heightened security screening, postal mail addressed to the Commission will be subject to delay. We strongly encourage you to submit your comments online through the https://www.regulations.gov website.
If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “Miniclip S.A.; File No. 192 3129” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580; or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.
Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible website at https://www.regulations.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else's Social Security number; date of birth; driver's license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure your comment does not include sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any “trade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential”—as provided by Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)—including in particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.
Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the public FTC website—as legally required by FTC Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC Website, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request.
Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment
The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Miniclip S.A. (“Respondent”). The proposed consent order (“proposed order”) has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments from interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final the agreement's proposed order.
Respondent develops, publishes, and distributes mobile and online digital games. As of August 2019, Respondent had approximately 100 applications (“apps”) available for download through Apple's App Store and Google Play. Consumers can also play online games via Respondent's website, www.miniclip.com, and through Facebook.
This matter concerns alleged false or misleading representations that Respondent made concerning its status in a Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (“COPPA”) safe harbor program. Congress enacted COPPA to protect the safety and privacy of children online by prohibiting the unauthorized or unnecessary collection of children's personal information online by operators of Internet Websites and online services. COPPA directed the Commission to promulgate a rule implementing COPPA. The Commission promulgated the COPPA Rule on November 3, 1999, and the COPPA Rule went into effect on April 21, 2000. The Commission promulgated revisions to the Rule that went into effect on July 1, 2013. COPPA includes a provision enabling industry groups or others to submit for Commission approval self-regulatory safe harbor programs that Start Printed Page 31189implement the protections of the Commission's final Rule.
In 2001, the Commission approved the Children's Advertising Review Unit (“CARU”) as a COPPA safe harbor program. In July 2009, Respondent joined CARU's COPPA safe harbor program. Thereafter, Respondent began disseminating statements regarding its participation in CARU's COPPA safe harbor program. Respondent remained a member of CARU's COPPA Safe Harbor Program until July 6, 2015, when CARU terminated Respondent's participation in the program. After CARU terminated Respondent from its safe harbor program, Respondent continued to make claims that it participated in the program.
The Commission's proposed one-count complaint alleges that Respondent violated Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Specifically, the proposed complaint alleges that Respondent engaged in a deceptive act or practice by falsely representing that it was a current participant in the CARU COPPA safe harbor program when it was not.
Part I of the proposed order prohibits Respondent from making misrepresentations about its membership in any privacy or security program sponsored by the government or any other self-regulatory or standard-setting organization, including, but not limited to, the CARU COPPA safe harbor.
Parts II through V of the proposed order are reporting and compliance provisions. Part II requires acknowledgement of the order and dissemination of the order now and in the future to persons with responsibilities relating to the subject matter of the order. Part III ensures notification to the FTC of changes in corporate status and mandates that the company submit an initial compliance report to the FTC. Part IV requires the company to create certain documents relating to its compliance with the order for ten (10) years and to retain those documents for a five-year period. Part V mandates that the company make available to the FTC information or subsequent compliance reports, as requested.
Part VI is a provision “sun-setting” the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.
The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any way the proposed order's terms.
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By direction of the Commission.
April J. Tabor,
[FR Doc. 2020-11098 Filed 5-21-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P