10 April 2018

Advocates claim Google's YouTube violates Federal Children's Privacy Law

Children's privacy violated

Children's rights campaigners have filed a Federal Trade Commission complaint stating Google illegally collects children's data

Children’s rights campaigners have filed a Federal Trade Commission Complaint stating Google is breaking the law by collecting personal data from children on YouTube without parental consent. The complaint is supported by a coalition of 23 consumer and privacy groups, led by the Campaign for a Commerical Free Childhood and the Centre for Digital Democracy. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, is the only federal law regulating how to handle children’s online data and requires that sites inform parents the kind of personal data collected as well as getting verifiable parental permission before gathering any information from or about children. Campaigners argue Google does not try to meet them, citing that the YouTube privacy policy states that YouTube is not for children under 13. They claim that 80 per cent of American children between 6 and12 year olds use YouTube. In 2017 it was cited as the most recognisable brand in this age group.

Holding Google accountable

The coalition is calling on the FTC to hold Google accountable for “serious COPPA violations: collecting billions of data points from millions of children and making untold amounts of money off the use and sale of that data without telling parents. This illegally-collected data includes things like location and browsing habits which Google uses to target ads  across different devices.