ESRB Privacy Online Program Endorsed by Federal Trade Commission

FTC Grants 'Safe Harbor' Status for Model Program That

Protects Personal Data, Promotes Kids' Safety on the Internet



Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Entertainment Software Rating Board

    NEW YORK, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
 today formally endorsed the Entertainment Software Rating Board's (ESRB)
 Privacy Online Program.  ESRB Privacy Online is the first privacy seal
 provider to receive FTC approval as a "safe harbor" under the Children's
 Online Privacy Protection Act.
     ESRB Privacy Online is a voluntary program benefiting Internet users and
 Web site operators.  The program requires participating Web sites to meet
 rigorous privacy standards related to data collection, public disclosure, and
 security.  Special rules apply to the collection and use of children's
 information.
     Before displaying the ESRB Privacy Online Certification Seal,
 participating web sites must undergo a comprehensive certification process,
 including an on-site audit, ongoing monitoring and verification, and
 unannounced spot checks.  If a web site meets the ESRB Privacy Online
 standards, it may display the ESRB Privacy Online Certification Seal.  More
 than twenty companies are currently certified or are in the process of being
 certified by ESRB Privacy Online, including Acclaim, Electronic Arts,
 Nintendo, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sega, and THQ.
     "The ESRB is thrilled that Privacy Online has won the FTC's endorsement,"
 said ESRB President Arthur Pober, Ed. D.  "The ESRB takes seriously our
 responsibility to protect personal information and keep children safe on the
 Internet.  When parents see the ESRB Privacy Online Certification Seal on a
 web site, they can rest assured that their privacy will be protected."
     Today's FTC certification was issued in response to an application
 submitted by the ESRB under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
 (COPPA).  In accordance with regulations established to implement COPPA, Web
 site operators can satisfy the Act's requirements by following a set of self-
 regulatory guidelines issued by representatives of online industries, if those
 guidelines are approved by the FTC.  Today's action constitutes FTC approval
 of the guidelines developed by the ESRB.
     FTC commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the ESRB's application.  The FTC's
 press release can be viewed online at http://www.ftc.gov .
 
     About the Entertainment Software Rating Board
     The Entertainment Software Rating Board is an independent rating system,
 which was established in September of 1994 by the Interactive Digital Software
 Association (IDSA), the leading trade association for the interactive
 entertainment software industry.  The ESRB system includes ratings and
 specific content descriptors designed to give parents and consumers
 information about the content of video and computer games, so they can make
 informed purchase and rental decisions.  The ESRB extended its reach to
 include online content with the launch of ESRB Interactive (ESRBi) in 1997.
 
 

SOURCE Entertainment Software Rating Board
    NEW YORK, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
 today formally endorsed the Entertainment Software Rating Board's (ESRB)
 Privacy Online Program.  ESRB Privacy Online is the first privacy seal
 provider to receive FTC approval as a "safe harbor" under the Children's
 Online Privacy Protection Act.
     ESRB Privacy Online is a voluntary program benefiting Internet users and
 Web site operators.  The program requires participating Web sites to meet
 rigorous privacy standards related to data collection, public disclosure, and
 security.  Special rules apply to the collection and use of children's
 information.
     Before displaying the ESRB Privacy Online Certification Seal,
 participating web sites must undergo a comprehensive certification process,
 including an on-site audit, ongoing monitoring and verification, and
 unannounced spot checks.  If a web site meets the ESRB Privacy Online
 standards, it may display the ESRB Privacy Online Certification Seal.  More
 than twenty companies are currently certified or are in the process of being
 certified by ESRB Privacy Online, including Acclaim, Electronic Arts,
 Nintendo, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sega, and THQ.
     "The ESRB is thrilled that Privacy Online has won the FTC's endorsement,"
 said ESRB President Arthur Pober, Ed. D.  "The ESRB takes seriously our
 responsibility to protect personal information and keep children safe on the
 Internet.  When parents see the ESRB Privacy Online Certification Seal on a
 web site, they can rest assured that their privacy will be protected."
     Today's FTC certification was issued in response to an application
 submitted by the ESRB under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
 (COPPA).  In accordance with regulations established to implement COPPA, Web
 site operators can satisfy the Act's requirements by following a set of self-
 regulatory guidelines issued by representatives of online industries, if those
 guidelines are approved by the FTC.  Today's action constitutes FTC approval
 of the guidelines developed by the ESRB.
     FTC commissioners voted 5-0 to approve the ESRB's application.  The FTC's
 press release can be viewed online at http://www.ftc.gov .
 
     About the Entertainment Software Rating Board
     The Entertainment Software Rating Board is an independent rating system,
 which was established in September of 1994 by the Interactive Digital Software
 Association (IDSA), the leading trade association for the interactive
 entertainment software industry.  The ESRB system includes ratings and
 specific content descriptors designed to give parents and consumers
 information about the content of video and computer games, so they can make
 informed purchase and rental decisions.  The ESRB extended its reach to
 include online content with the launch of ESRB Interactive (ESRBi) in 1997.
 
 SOURCE  Entertainment Software Rating Board