Archived — Principle 8: Communications with Children

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Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce

8.1 All vendors have a social responsibility to determine whether the person with whom they are communicating or transacting is a child. When communicating with children, or when the content is likely to be of interest to children, the language must be age-appropriate, must not exploit the credulity, lack of experience or sense of loyalty of children, and must not exert any pressure on children to urge their parents or guardians to purchase goods or services.

8.2 Vendors shall take all reasonable steps to prevent monetary transactions with children.

8.3 Vendors shall not collect, use or disclose personal information of children without the express, verifiable consent of their parents or guardians, except as provided for in 8.5 and 8.6 below. When seeking parental consent, vendors shall clearly specify the nature of the proposed communications, the personal information being collected and all potential uses of the information.

8.4 Vendors shall not knowingly send marketing e-mail to children.

8.5 When contests or clubs are directed at children, vendors may collect children's personal information without parental consent and communicate directly with those children, when vendors:

a) collect the minimum amount of information required to provide the club membership or to determine the winner of a contest;

b) limit communications only to those required to provide the club membership;

c) in the case of contests, only deal with the parents or guardians of the winner(s) and do not contact the winner(s);

d) retain the information only as long as the children remain members of the club or until the conclusion of the contest; and

e) make no use of the information other than to provide the club membership or to determine a contest winner.

8.6 When vendors contract with third parties to provide a club membership or to determine the winner of a contest, vendors shall disclose only the personal information necessary for this, and shall ensure that the third parties agree to comply with principles 4 and 8.

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