The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC, fined the Google US $ 170 million for understanding that the YouTube violated laws to protect privacy of children. Because of this, the company decided to radicalize: videos with children’s content will have notifications and comments disabled on the platform.
This is just one of several measures that Google is taking to address the problem. In addition to disabling notifications and comments, YouTube will stop showing ads targeted to content for children, limit the collection of data from children and condition publishers to identify videos for children under 13 – a machine learning algorithm should assist in this work .
In addition, a means of allowing parents or guardians to be informed of data collection actions and to give consent to this should also be implemented.
But why is all this? In summary, FTC investigations point out that YouTube violated the so-called COPPA law, which establishes a series of restrictions to protect the privacy of children under 13 in the United States.
There are several accusations, but the most serious are that YouTube collected data from children under 13 without parental authorization (one of the requirements of the COPPA law) and did not take sufficient measures to prevent inappropriate content and ads for children from appearing in the middle of children’s videos.
For Joe Simons, president of the FTC, Google took advantage of YouTube’s popularity among children to do business with major advertisers and, when charged to comply with the COPPA law, refused to recognize that part of the platform’s content is aimed at children. This is one of the factors that weighed in the decision.
The $ 170 million fine is the main part of a deal between Google and the FTC. The agency accepted this punishment in a vote that had three votes in favor and two against.
The FTC commissioners who voted for non-acceptance wanted more severe punishment, but those who gave favorable votes justified the decision by saying that without the deal, the matter could evolve into a protracted court battle.
In addition to paying the fine – of the $ 170 million, $ 136 million goes to the FTC and the rest to the state of New York – Google has agreed to implement the aforementioned restrictions on the platform to preserve the privacy of children.
Have more. Google is going to promote YouTube Kids more intensely, which makes a lot of sense: theoretically, a separate platform is easier to control.
The company also promised to invest $ 100 million over the next three years in creating original content aimed at children.
On the official YouTube blog, Google says the measures announced on Wednesday (4) are expected to go into effect over the next four months.
With information: Ars Technica.