Published: August 2012

McDonalds may violate Child Online Privacy Protection Rule

Coalition: Consumer Action

Consumer Action joined the Center for Digital Democracy and filed a letter of complaint with the FTC regarding potential COPPA violations made by McDonald's, Viacom Inc.'s, Doctor's Associates, Inc.'s, Turner Broadcasting System's, General Mills and

The violations mostly centered on the aforementioned companies use of “refer-a-friend” marketing. This form of viral marketing allows companies to leverage their relationships with children to reach other children. These companies encourage children who are playing games or other activities on their websites to provide the email addresses of their friends, then use those email addresses to send unsolicited marketing messages to the children’s friends. Along with email addresses, these companies may also collect other information of a sensitive nature from children.

View letter to FTC on Request for Public Comment on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule.

Lead Organization

Center for Digital Democracy

Other Organizations

The Center for Digital Democracy | American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry | Berkeley Media Studies Group | Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood | Center for Media Justice | Center for Science in the Public Interest | Children Now | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumer Watchdog | ChangeLab Solutions | Global Action Project | Media Literacy Project | Privacy Rights Clearinghouse | Public Citizen | Public Health Advocacy Institute | Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale

More Information

Center for Digital Democracy


Download PDF

No Download Available




Quick Menu

Facebook FTwitter T