YouTube Fined $170 Million over Violation of Kids Federal Privacy Law
The United States Government has imposed a $170 million fine on YouTube for violating the kid’s Federal Privacy Law.
The U.S Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said that Google’s video streaming platform was sanctioned for collecting personal information about children without due permission from their parents.
The fine, which involves a $136 million settlement with the FTC and an additional New York Attorney General’s office $34 million penalty, is said to be the largest amount ever paid since a law banning the collection of information about children under age 13 came into effect in 1998.
YouTube had been accused of tracking viewers of children’s channels using cookies without parental consent and using those cookies to deliver millions of dollars in targeted advertisements to those viewers. Google declined to comment when this settlement leaked last week.
YouTube allows companies to create channels, which include advertisements that create revenue for both the company and YouTube.
According to the FTC Chairman, Joe Simons, the company had refused to acknowledge that portions of its platform were directed to kids when they clearly were.
Even though the company had launched a YouTube version for kids called YouTube kids which requires it requires parental consent and uses simple math problems to ensure that kids aren’t signing in on their own, Younger kids below the age of 13 continue to watch and feature in popular YouTube channels on the service that is intended for ages 13 and older.
Meanwhile, in addition to the monetary fine, the proposed settlement requires the company to refrain from violating the law in the future and to notify channel owners about their obligations to get consent from parents before collecting information on children.
The fine is said to be the largest the FTC has levelled against Google even if it is a tiny fraction when compared to the $5 billion fine imposed against Facebook this year for privacy violations.