What Parents Need to Know About Privacy in Mobile Games: Look for the ESRB Privacy Certified Seal

Written by Stacy Feuer, Sr. Vice President, Privacy Certified
October 26, 2022

We’ve pulled together five tips to help protect your children’s privacy and are rolling one out each day. Our first two tips covered decoding privacy labels and policies and setting parental controls and permissions. Our third tip is to look for the ESRB Privacy Certified seals.

You’re probably already familiar with ESRB’s content ratings for video games and apps, but did you know that ESRB also has special icons certifying a company’s compliance with ESRB’s privacy requirements? ESRB Privacy Certified is a membership-based program that works mostly with companies in the toy and video game industries. We review our members’ products for compliance with federal and state privacy laws, including the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and global rules, platform standards, and best practices.

We have two seals: (1) the ESRB Privacy Certified Kids Seal, which covers games directed or targeted to children, and (2) the ESRB Privacy Certified Seal for games that are not primarily directed to and do not target children.

The Kids Seal links to a confirmation page on our ESRB website, which confirms that a company is a member of our program, shows the seal(s) the member is approved to use, and provides a link to the member’s online privacy policy. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the United States’ leading privacy agency, has approved our Kids Seal requirements. Every year we provide a confidential annual report to the FTC detailing our compliance work with our members on children’s privacy.

When you see one of our ESRB Privacy Certified seals in a mobile app, you can be assured that we’ve reviewed the company’s privacy practices and policies thoroughly.

When you see one of our seals in a mobile app (often in or near the app’s privacy policy), you can be assured that we’ve reviewed the company’s privacy practices and policies thoroughly. We conduct an initial assessment to make sure the company’s product complies with applicable laws and the company’s actual practices are described accurately and fully. We also conduct two comprehensive reviews annually of each participant’s policies, practices, and products to help members remain compliant.

You can also find ESRB’s Privacy Certified seals on websites and connected toys. For more information about ESRB Privacy Certified, check out our website and blog. You can also follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Click here to continue to Tip #4: Don’t Let Your Children Lie About Their Ages.

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If you have more questions about kids’ privacy in mobile apps or you want to learn more about our program, please reach out to us through our contact page to learn more about our program. Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn for more privacy-related updates.

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Stacy Feuer Headshot As senior vice president of ESRB Privacy Certified (EPC), Stacy Feuer ensures that member companies in the video game and toy industries adopt and maintain lawful, transparent, and responsible data collection and privacy policies and practices for their websites, mobile apps, and online services. She oversees compliance with ESRB’s privacy certifications, including its “Kids Certified” seal, which is an approved Safe Harbor program under the Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.