YouTube will pay up to $ 200 million after allegedly violating children's privacy


On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission voted in favor of resolving the federal privacy charges against YouTube. politico. The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg corroborated the report, saying the official regulations would likely be made public next week.

The exact terms of the settlement are unclear, but Google would pay fines ranging from $ 150 million to $ 200 million. The charges stem from the collection of data and targeting practices on YouTube, which, according to consumer groups, violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Some details of the colony were reported in July by the Washington Postbut they were not finalized until today's vote.

On the day of the vote, YouTube unveiled a new YouTube Kids web portal and a smarter set of content filters. The platform has made a number of policy changes in response to the pending regulation in recent weeks, including explicitly banning violent or "mature" videos that appear to be aimed at children. The video service has also banned ads targeted to children's videos, making them much less lucrative for creators and threatening all kinds of YouTube content.

Achieved by The edge, YouTube declined to comment on the news. The FTC also declined to comment.

YouTube's critics reacted with dismay to the fine, considering it a wrist slap, compared to alleged violations of privacy allegedly committed. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), who has long been calling for an investigation into potential violations of COPPA on YouTube, called the fine "amicable settlement".

"Once again, the FTC seems to have left a powerful company pacted with a symbolic fine for violating the privacy of online users," said Markey in a statement. "We need to help children tackle companies that violate the privacy of children and violate federal law."

A number of privacy groups have echoed this sentiment. "Under the COPPA Children's Privacy Act, the FTC had the power to impose multi-billion dollar fines on Google," said consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. "A fine of up to $ 200 million absolutely does not protect the rights of children. This does not punish Google enough or deter Google or other companies from committing new offenses. "

Similar concerns were expressed in July when the FTC fined Facebook $ 5 billion for offenses related to Cambridge Analytica and other data breaches. It was the biggest fine imposed by the FTC on a tech company, but many Facebook critics found it to be insufficient compared to Facebook's $ 55 billion annual profit. a legislator calling the colony "historically hollow".

Updated 15:05 ET: Updated with Bloomberg and WSJ confirmations.

Updated 15:24 ET: Updated with "no comment" from FTC.

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