FTC Settles Children’s Privacy Case with WW (formerly Weight Watchers)
The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with WW International, Inc. and Kurbo, Inc. over allegations the companies improperly registered children for the “Kurbo by WW” online weight loss management program. In pleadings filed on February 16, 2022, in federal court in the Northern District of California, the FTC claims WW and Kurbo offered a service that was tailored for children but that failed to ensure parental involvement in the registration process. According to the FTC, the defendants created an age gate that children could easily evade, and that “hundreds” of children later revised their ages to indicate they were under age 13. Among other things, the parties’ settlement requires WW and Kurbo to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties, destroy any models or algorithms developing using children’s personal information, and maintain a schedule for retaining children’s data for no longer than one year after the last instance the user tracks their food intake, weight or activity level.