Child advocates accuse Youtube of collecting data on kids
(KUTV) Kids love watching videos on YouTube but what parents may not realize is that data on their viewing habits could be gathered, analyzed, and then used to sell ads.
A collection of nearly two dozen advocacy groups, including Consumers Union, say Google, which owns Youtube, may be violating a law meant protect the privacy of children online.
YouTube’s terms of service specify that the site is for users 13 and older. Google says it offers a YouTube Kids App that’s fully COPPA compliant, but not all parents are using it. According to one report, 80 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 12 use regular YouTube daily. -- And advocates say the company knows it.
22 advocacy groups banded together to file a complaint with the FTC. They estimate Google has collected data on nearly 25 million children -- without their parent’s explicit consent. Consumers Union says parents probably don’t even realize it’s happening. If the FTC chooses to investigate and discovers violations, they could fine Google about $41,000 per individual violation.
In a statement to Get Gephardt, a Youtube spokesperson writes, “We are reviewing the complaint and will evaluate if there are things we can do to improve. Protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us. Because YouTube is not for children, we’ve invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative specifically designed for children.”