Google’s YouTube faces a $170 million fine for allegedly collecting personal data from minors without the consent of their parents.
The commission in charge of Federal Trade imposed a $136 million fine on Google, but the company is expected to pay an additional $34 million to the state of New York for similar allegations.
This is the largest the federal trade commission has ever imposed again YouTube’s Parent company, although this is a small fine considering that the same commission imposed a whopping 5 billion again Facebook in 2019 following a violation of privacy.
The federal trade commission has been looking closely at YouTube because they have not been handling data from minors properly. The federal law protects minors, and it requires consent to be sought from parents before data is collected and shared with third parties.
YouTube states that all its services are tailored for kids aged 13 and above, even though younger children also watch content posted on YouTube, which includes sing-a-longs and cartoons. In addition, YouTube has developed an app for kids, known as YouTube Kids.
They also launched a website that also has the same content as the app. YouTube states that it requires parental consent and they have developed math-based CAPTA to ensure children do not log in on their own.
YouTube for Children does not have targeted adverts, as is the case with YouTube proper. Also, YouTube for children doesn’t follow up on what kids watch so as to recommend videos they may want to watch.
The fine vote went 3 to 2. Illegal acquisition of data from children was very lucrative for the parent company Google. As was with the case of Facebook, the Google issue had no individualized accountability, experienced insufficient solutions to the issue of data privacy and Facebook’s incentives. The fine imposed was such that it allowed Facebook to accrue plenty of benefit from breaking the law.
The federal government has imposed stringent measures to ensure they collect and use personal data properly and in full compliance of the law. Most Silicon Valley firms are being investigated in order to find out if they are stifling their competitors unlawfully.