Kids' Web Site to Pay $10,000 for Privacy Violations

A popcorn maker agreed to pay $10,000 to settle charges that it violated privacy laws when it collected children's' names and e-mail addresses on its Web site without parental consent, federal regulators said on Thursday.

The Federal Trade Commission said American Pop Corn Co., of Sioux City, Iowa, collected names, e-mail addresses and home addresses of visitors to a children's section of its Web site (

According to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule, companies must first get permission from a parent before collecting personal information from visitors under 13.

The company also made children provide more personal information than was necessary in order to sign up for prize offers, another violation of the law, the FTC said.

The company also did not follow the privacy practices it posted on its site, in violation of laws that prohibit unfair or deceptive trade practices, the agency said.

American Pop Corn agreed to pay a fine of $10,000 to settle the charges and agreed to abide by both the children's' privacy law and its own privacy policy in the future.

The FTC has prosecuted five cases under the children's' privacy law since it was put in place in April 2000.