Operator of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Fan Sites Sued for Gathering Kids' Personal Information

Artist Arena accused of collecting sensitive data from more than 100,000 members under the age of 13 without their parents' consent.

By Alexis L. Loinaz
|  Wednesday, Oct 3, 2012  |  Updated 10:45 AM EDT
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It's enough to make Justin Bieber break out into a Bieber fever--and not the good kind.

The operator of a portfolio of unofficial fan sites dedicated to celebs like Biebs, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato has been sued for illegally collecting the personal information of its underage members, including birth dates and cell phone numbers.

Per the New York Daily News, the Justice Department, in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in a federal court in Manhattan, accused operator Artist Arena of gathering the information of more than 100,000 members under the age of 13 without their parents' consent.

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The data includes full names, email addresses, birth dates and cell phone numbers--a move, the suit claims, that violates the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act safeguarding minors under the age of 13.

Artist Arena allows members to create profiles enabling them to interact with other users, and fans were reportedly required to provide personal details when signing up.

That policy was amended on March 8, and now users are urged not to provide sensitive information.

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The lawsuit is seeking $16,000 in damages for each violation, as well as an injunction against site operations.

Despite its one-time stable of sites, Artist Arena currently only runs BieberFever.com, which hypes a yearly membership fee of $99 as well as plum access to presale tickets to Biebs' shows.

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