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AOL, Microsoft Support CARU Child Privacy Standards

The Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Inc. (CBBB) said that its children's privacy standards have won the support of America Online and Microsoft.

"We applaud America Online and Microsoft for providing necessary leadership on this critical issue for the emerging interactive medium," said Walter J. O'Brien, vice president of the CBBB and president of the National Advertising Review Council. "As we've heard from President Clinton and the Congress, self-regulation will prove critical in helping to guarantee the Internet will be both rewarding and safe for our kids.

Developed to protect kids under age 12, CARU's Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Children's Advertising provide voluntary steps for the industry to ensure that interactive advertising and marketing effectively safeguard the privacy of children.

AOL and Microsoft have committed to meeting or exceeding those standards and will also contribute funding support for CARU. CARU's Guidelines include Parental Permission and Advertiser Identification.

Microsoft and AOL were joined by MediaLive, producer of Surf Monkey, in providing early support from new media companies. Before today, CARU's funding support stemmed from the traditional children's advertising industry and a single new media company, Bonus.com. Surf Monkey is a new web browser and online service developed exclusively for kids.