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Frequently Asked Questions

 

FOR BUSINESSES

 

FOR CONSUMERS

 

FOR BUSINESSES

What is ESRB Privacy Certified?

Since 1999, ESRB Privacy Certified (formerly ESRB Privacy Online) has provided online privacy solutions for a variety of interactive entertainment clients to address the growing complexity of privacy protection laws in the United States, Canada, the European Union, the Asia-Pacific region and South America. Our focus on online and mobile privacy is consistent with ESRB's mission to help interactive software companies conduct business responsibly while assuring consumers, especially parents, that their and their children's personal data is collected and managed appropriately through the display of certification seals. Ultimately, we aim to help our members balance mitigation of risks and the achievement of their business objectives by providing guidance in developing the most effective privacy practices consistent with applicable law.

 

What are the benefits of certification by ESRB Privacy Certified?

Members of the ESRB Privacy Certified program enjoy an in-depth level of monitoring and customer service. Our team consists of privacy attorneys and trained personnel with extensive experience in online privacy (including COPPA), EU, and mobile compliance.

 

Privacy Certified features include:

  • A free upfront Privacy Risk Assessment for compliance with COPPA, CAN-SPAM, PIPEDA (Canada), EU (if applicable), and data breach/data security/data retention laws
  • COPPA Safe Harbor status, which shields program members from potential sanctions or fines from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and/or state attorneys general
  • Assistance with EU safe harbor applications
  • Drafting of mobile short form and long form privacy policies and upfront disclosures
  • Customized, biannual compliance reports that include strategies to ensure adherence to pertinent laws and provisions
  • Timely reviews of upcoming websites, online services, apps, contests, sweepstakes, promotions, e-mail and mobile campaigns, social networking, and a variety of other services and tools
  • Privacy policy drafting and editing (including reconciliation with EULA, TOS, etc.)
  • Dispute resolution services
  • A Consumer Online Hotline to address the privacy concerns of your users
  • Age/identity authentication services in partnership with Veratad Technologies
  • Translation service referrals
  • Legal referrals outside of the U.S.

 

What is a Privacy Risk Assessment?

The Privacy Risk Assessment is an overview of your business and your website, online service, or mobile app's vulnerabilities under U.S. (COPPA and CAN-SPAM), Canadian (PIPEDA) and EU laws. It is conducted and drafted by trained privacy personnel and includes a review of your existing privacy policy. Since our expertise is focused on interactive and/or child-oriented sites and services, the Privacy Risk Assessment may not be available for companies of all types.

 

Is there a fee for the initial Privacy Risk Assessment?

The Privacy Risk Assessment is available free of charge with no obligation to join the program.

 

How does a company become a member of the ESRB Privacy Certified program?

Enrollment in the ESRB Privacy Certified program begins with our free, no-obligation Privacy Risk Assessment. Please register with us to get started. Our trained staff will review your websites or apps and identify any issues required to be addressed in order to comply with applicable laws. Once you join our program we will work with you to implement the necessary changes, after which your sites and/or apps will be certified and can display the applicable ESRB Privacy Certified seals.

 

Does the Privacy Certified program only accept members in the video game industry?

While our expertise is focused on interactive and/or child-oriented sites and services, we have a diverse group of member companies that operate both in and outside of the video game industry. Our advice and solutions are not "one size fits all"; each company receives customized solutions and guidance according to their business goals and privacy practices. For more information about the privacy solutions that we can offer your company, please begin by signing up for a free Privacy Risk Assessment.

 

Can I get my mobile apps certified as well?

Absolutely. We have a Mobile Privacy Certification program that is entirely focused on mobile app privacy and the ESRB Privacy Certified team is well-versed in the specific privacy challenges faced by mobile app developers.

 

What are the fees for the program?

Membership fees for the ESRB Privacy Certified program are on a sliding scale based on your company's annual revenue (starting at $0). Fees are paid on an annual basis; however, accommodations can be made for bi-annual or quarterly payments. Please contact us at privacy@esrb.org for more information.

 


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FOR CONSUMERS

What is ESRB Privacy Certified?

ESRB Privacy Certified is a seal certification program that helps companies' websites and mobile apps comply with privacy and consumer protection laws. Our focus on online and mobile privacy is consistent with ESRB's mission to help interactive software companies conduct business responsibly while assuring consumers, especially parents, that their and their children's personal data is collected and managed appropriately through the display of our Global, Kids, or Mobile seals.

 

What does it mean when a website or app has a Privacy Certified seal on it?

ESRB Privacy Certified seals signify that a website or mobile app is compliant with applicable laws and best practices related to the collection and use of personal information. Seeing one of our seals lets you know that a website or app is a trustworthy environment in which to share your personal information. You are also able to contact ESRB Privacy Certified if you have any questions or concerns related to the privacy policies or practices of any website or app that displays our seals, so you can be assured your information is being responsibly handled.

 

What do the different ESRB Privacy Certified Seals mean?

The ESRB Privacy Certified program uses three seals:

Online Privacy Compliance Seal ESRB

The "ESRB Privacy Certified" seal signifies that a general audience website complies with global privacy laws and best practices.

Kids Online Privacy Compliance Seal ESRB

The "ESRB Privacy Certified for Kids" seal signifies that a child-directed website or app complies with applicable laws and requirements such as COPPA.

Mobile Privacy Compliance Seal ESRB

The "ESRB Privacy Certified for Mobile" seal signifies that a mobile app complies with mobile privacy standards and best practices.

 

What is COPPA?

COPPA, or the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (full text), is a United States federal law that is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Its primary objective is to ensure responsible data collection, use, and sharing practices of the personal information of children under 13, and requires that businesses obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting or using various types of information obtained from children under 13.

 

Does the Kids Seal mean that the content of an online game or mobile app is appropriate for my child?

The ESRB Privacy Certified for Kids seal pertains to compliance with laws and requirements related to the appropriate collection and use of personal information from children. For content ratings of games or apps, please refer to the ESRB's rating of the online game or app. We also strongly encourage parents to read the privacy policies and Terms of Use of websites, games, or apps that their children visit or use.

 

Who can I contact with privacy-related questions about ESRB Privacy Certified members?

If you have a privacy-related question or concern about any of the websites or apps that bear an ESRB Privacy Certified seal, please contact us here.

 

Where can I find more information about privacy laws?

The following resources offer more detailed information about privacy matters:

 


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