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International: IAB Europe Guide to In-Gaming calls for protection of children's data

The Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe ('IAB Europe') issued, on 11 November 2021, its Guide to In-Gaming which outlines in-gaming advertising formats and best practices and notably addresses data protection concerns in this context. Specifically, the guide highlights that data protection laws such as Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 ('COPPA') and the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) ('GDPR') regulate the processing of children's personal data and that games often use characters (e.g. cartoons) which are likely to attract child audiences who are vulnerable to undue influence. With this in mind, the guide recommends the following measures:

  • age ratings should be used as an indication of games which are more likely to be played by adults;
  • information on age-restricted apps in the app store should be used to exclude those apps targeting children;
  • panel provider data should be used to understand the nature of the audience on the particular game/channel;
  • advertising should be targeted to parents, not children; and
  • age targeting and data processing (e.g. processing associated with any ID, cookie, or mobile ID) are not permitted for brands that are able to target children contextually.

Further to the final clarificiation above, the guide highlights that due diligence of suppliers is required to understand how they strip away data from games that are likely to be played by children.

You can read the press release here and the guide here.