Skid-e-kids and the FTC announced a settlement this week over FTC charges that Skid-e-kids and its operator Jones O. Godwin violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA Rule) and the FTC Act. Skid-e-kids ( is a social networking site that bills itself as the "Facebook and Myspace for Kids," with a target audience of kids ages 7-14.

The FTC charged that the Skid-e-kids site did not obtain parental consent before it allowed children to create public profiles, post personal information such as names and D.O.B.s, send messages to other Skid-e-kids members, and upload videos and pictures. The FTC also alleged that the Skid-e-kids site made misrepresentations about its privacy practices in its privacy policy, by claiming to require parental email addresses and parental activation before allowing a child access to the site, when in reality the site did not collect parents' email address, send parents emails, or require parental consent before allowing child participation. The FTC Complaint stated that Skid-e-kids had collected, used and/or disclosed personal information in violation of the COPPA rule in over 5,000 instances.  

The settlement requires that Godwin and the site comply with the rules and destroy all personal information collected in violation of the rules. The settlement also requires that for five years Skid-e-kids must link to FTC educational privacy materials and retain a privacy professional or join an FTC-approved safe harbor program.  In addition, the settlement imposes a civil penalty of $100,000, all but $1,000 of which will be suspended if the Godwin provided truthful information about his financial condition and if Godwin and the site comply with the settlement order's oversight provision.