YouTube, the Alphabet affiliate video platform, which in turn owns Google, has been fined in the United States with 170 million dollars (154 million euros) for having collected data from children without the consent of their parents, as reported this Wednesday the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has approved the sanction by three votes in favor and two against.
Specifically, Google and YouTube must pay 136 million dollars (123.5 million euros) to the FTC and another 34 million dollars (30.9 million euros) to New York for having violated the privacy protection law Children’s online. This is the largest fine imposed for breach of this rule since it was approved in 1998.
According to the accusation of the FTC and the New York Prosecutor’s Office, YouTube breached the law by collecting information from users of YouTube channels specifically aimed at a child audience without notifying parents or receiving their consent.
“YouTube earned millions using identifiers, popularly known as ‘cookies’, to serve advertising aimed at visitors to those channels,” said the FTC.
The law on the protection of children’s online privacy specifies that web pages and online services aimed at children must inform about their practices and obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from all children under 13.
“YouTube highlighted its popularity among children to corporate clients,” said FTC President Joe Simons. “Even so, when it comes to complying with the privacy law, the company denied that part of its platform was clearly aimed at children. There is no excuse for the violation of the law by YouTube,” he added.
In addition to the financial fine, Alphabet must “develop, implement and maintain” a system that allows channel owners to identify their content aimed at children, so YouTube can ensure that it complies with the law.
After the publication of the fine, YouTube has assured in a statement that within four months it will begin to treat the data of anyone who sees a channel aimed at children as if it were a child, regardless of the user’s real age. He also stressed that he will stop serving personalized ads on these channels and that some features, such as comments or notifications, will become unavailable.
The four-month period has been decided to give time to the ‘youtubers’ of channels with content aimed at children to adapt to the new rules, as YouTube expects to impact their income.
Also, with the aim of “investing in the future of educational quality content for children and families”, the Alphabet video platform has committed to invest 100 million dollars (90.7 million euros) in the next three years to create original content for children on your platform. Europa Press