YouTube Fined 170M For Alleged Child Privacy Law Violation

first_imgStay on target PewDiePie Pulls $50,000 Pledge to Anti-Hate Group After Fan BacklashYouTube Removes More than 100K Videos For Hate Speech Google and subsidiary YouTube are being fined a record $170 million for alleged violations of children’s privacy law.The Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General claim YouTube illegally collected personal information from kids without parental consent.The settlement requires the tech titans to pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York state for breaching the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.According to the complaint, YouTube collected personal information (in the form of cookies) from viewers of child-directed channels—without first notifying parents and getting consent.The streaming service then “earned millions of dollars” using those identifiers to deliver targeted ads to viewers.“YouTube touted its popularity with children to prospective corporate clients,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a statement. “Yet when it came to complying with COPPA, the company refuses to acknowledge that portions of its platform were clearly directed to kids. There’s no excuse for YouTube’s violations of the law.”The COPPA Rules, introduced by Congress in 1998, requires online services aimed at children to provide notice of their data practices and obtain parental consent before collecting information from kids under 13.And while YouTube claims to be a “general-audience site,” some of its individual channels—those operated by toy companies, for example—are directed at children and therefore must comply with COPPA, the complaint said.Several channel owners reportedly told YouTube and Google that their content is aimed at children, while others were rated by YouTube itself as directed to kids.The complaint, meanwhile, suggested that YouTube told one advertising company that it didn’t have users younger than 13 on its platform and therefore channels need not comply with COPPA.Now, Google and YouTube owe a cool $170 million—a drop in the bucket for the firms, which rake in billions of dollars in revenue each year.YouTube published a blog post the same day the FTC settlement was announced, promising changes and improvements for under-13 viewers.“Staring in about four months, we will treat data from anyone watching children’s content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user,” the firm said.That means limiting data collection to only “what is needed to support the operation of the service”; YouTube will also stop serving personalized ads, and ditch comments and notifications.“In order to identify content made for kids, creators will be required to tell us when their content falls in this category,” the blog explained. “And we’ll also use machine learning to find videos that clearly target young audiences, for example those that have an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys, or games.”Watch: Nintendo Forces YouTube to Remove Vids Featuring Its MusicMore on Video Creators Sue YouTube, GoogleYouTube Removes More Than 100K Videos for Hate SpeechYouTube Gives Users More Control Over Recommended Videoslast_img

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