If you’re interested, the privacy notice basically says that it collects first and last names, address and email addresses when voluntarily submitted by your daughter and anyone using the site’s app. They keep her photo. They say they won’t collect any information from kids under 13 without your permission, but no one asked you permission while you were making meatloaf. No one, including your kid.
She’s letting the web cam take her picture now. While it uploads, cartoon fruit and veggies are filling the page, fooling no one. This is McDonald’s; We go there for the fries.
Now her photo is in a video, her head dancing on a cartoon body.
Now she’s filling in her friends’ email addresses, so she can send the video to them.
Meanwhile, you’re sticking the meatloaf in the oven. You drop by the living room to check on your daughter, who’s now making milk moustaches on her photo on the same web site. You check to make sure the site didn’t take any personal information, and you see that the Milk Moustache app doesn’t save photos or require email addresses. So you head back to the kitchen to make the potatoes au gratin, none the wiser.
According to The New York Times, McDonald’s has now stored your daughter’s photo in publicly available directories:
“Anyone with an Internet connection could check out hundreds of photos of young children, a few of whom were pictured in pajamas in their bedrooms, advocates said.”
But the Federal Trade commission is looking to tighten web privacy rules so this whole scenario is harder to happen on this and other sites listed in a complaint by children’s advocates.
Meanwhile, you can help by disabiling the Internet on your iPad when she plays on it, and teaching your kids not to upload photos or plug in email addresses on any site without asking you first.
Then go through your browser history and see where she’s been. Click on apps and games while thinking like a kid, and you’ll see just how easy it is for your kid’s photo to end up on a seemingly harmless and child-friendly web site. Then register a complaint to the FTC.
Enjoy your meatloaf.