AltaVista satisfies CARU complaints

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The Children's Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus settled a case in which it had accused AltaVista Co. of not going far enough to verify that children giving their names out publicly on the Web are over 13. CARU took the position that AltaVista's asking a kids if they were over 13 encouraged kids to lie, and that marketers wanting to assure compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (which bars disclosure of personal information for kids under 13) must take steps to prevent lying. CARU also said AltaVista failed to adequately ensure that kids who said they were under 13 weren't admitted to its adult relationship sites, including some that had pornographic photos. AltaVista made changes to its site in December in order to comply with the CARU guidelines, and recently dropped the kids community chats and bulletin boards as part of its effort to concentrate on its search services.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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