WASHINGTON, D.C. — Prime Sites, doing business as Explore Talent, has agreed to pay $235,000 to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that the online talent search company violated the Children's Online Protection Act (COPPA) and misled consumers.
The FTC charged Nevada-based Prime Sites with collecting and disclosing children's personal information without parental consent and for neglecting to detail its collection, use and disclosure practices. According to the FTC's complaint, Prime Sites also is in violation of the FTC Act for misleading potential customers that casting directors had chosen them or were interested in casting them.
“Explore Talent collected the personal information of more than 100,000 children, but failed to adhere to the safeguards required by law,” acting FTC chairwoman Maureen K. Ohlhausen said in a news release. “[This] settlement provides strong relief for consumers and will help ensure children are protected going forward.”
Also, according to the FTC's complaint, ExploreTalent.com, which had more than 100,000 members under 13 registered between 2014 and 2016, required users to submit personal information in order to create a free account. The company then included some of the information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers and mailing address in user profiles that were publicly available and searchable on the website.
In addition to the civil penalty, Explore Talent is required to delete the information previously collected from children and to comply with COPPA requirements in the future.