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What parents need to know about an FTC settlement with weight loss app aimed at children

ABC24 spoke with Randy Hutchinson from the BBB of the Mid-South to find out what parents need to know.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Back in March, a subsidiary of Weight Watchers called Kurbo Inc. settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission that it violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The FTC said Kurbo marketed a weight loss app for children as young as eight, then collected the children’s personal information without their parent’s permission.

ABC24 spoke with Randy Hutchinson from the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South to find out what parents need to know.

The FTC’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (COPPA Rule) requires websites, apps, and online services which knowingly collect personal information from children under age 13 get parental consent beforehand.

The FTC said the app’s process would encourage kids to claim they were over 13 when they signed up, then the children would change their birthdate to the real date – under 13 – later in their profile.

Read more on the complaint against Kurbo at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2022/03/ftc-takes-action-against-company-formerly-known-weight-watchers-illegally-collecting-kids-sensitive.

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