Justin Bieber is stalking your children! Well, no. But basically: Artist Arena, which operates fan websites for Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez, settled charges with the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday for allegedly "collecting information" on children without their parents' consent.
Kids who used the websites — www.RihannaNow.com, www.DemiLovatoFanClub.net, www.BeiberFever.com, and www.SelenaGomez.com — could join fan clubs, create profiles and post on each other's walls about their undying love for their celeb of choice. But, according to the FTC, Artist Arena was also collecting their names, addresses, email addresses, birth dates, gender and other information without notifying their parents, which is against federal law and also creepy, especially since tens of thousands of them were under 13 years old. Now they'll have to pay a $1 million fine and listen to Selena Gomez's complete oeuvre on repeat. (The last part is unfortunately a joke.)
"Marketers need to know that even a bad case of Bieber fever doesn't excuse their legal obligation to get parental consent before collecting personal information from children," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. Indeed. This story makes me nostalgic for my childhood, during which some stranger in an AOL chatroom once convinced me he was a Hanson brother because he knew where their sisters took dance classes. Simpler times.
(Image via cached BieberFever)