YouTube accused of collecting information on minors without parental consents

Updated: Sep 10, 2019


In April 2018, consumers and activists groups in the US filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in the US complaining about how Google collects personal information about minors on YouTube, including location, unique device identifiers and mobile telephone numbers through the various child-oriented channels on YouTube. Apparently, YouTube is among the most popular online platforms for children and offers many programs designed and promoted for children.


Using these information collected, Google charged a premium from advertisers who is willing to place their ads on a "parenting and family" line-up including channels aimed at children apparently without their parents' consent.


Citing the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), passed by the US Congress in 1998, where websites are restricted in the handling of data and advertising for children, the consumers and activists groups is alleging that Google failed in its duties.


According to a Washington Post report dated July 19, 2019, it said Google has reached a settlement to pay a multi-million penalty to the Federal Trade Commission. The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act whose principal mission is the promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of anti-competitive business practices, such as coercive monopoly.


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