Youtube Accused Of Harvesting Children’s Data; US Govt Asked To Punish Google!

The case is severe, because this harvesting of data allegations is concerning children below 13 years of age.


YouTube Accused of Harvesting Children's Data

Just days after Facebook admitted that millions of users’ data was unethically harvested and exploited for political propaganda, now Google has been accused of the same.

However, with Google, the case is severe, because this harvesting of data allegations is concerning children below 13 years of age.

How will Google wriggle out of this mess? Will the US Govt. punish Youtube?

Youtube Accused By Consumer Advocacy Groups Of Storing Kid’s Data

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy and 21 other consumer advocacy groups have filed a massive complaint against Google, for illegally storing and misusing kid’s data.

As per the complaint filed with US Federal Trade Commission, Google and Youtube are violating several sensitive laws and regulations by storing data pertaining to kids below 13 years of age.

These 23 advocacy groups have collectively accused Youtube and Google of storing data such as kid’s gadgets, their viewing habits, their preferences, locations etc, and then using the same to show them advertisements.

These activities are actually quite common for a regular Internet user, but when it comes to kids, and that too under 13 years, then the issue complicates.

Because then, it violates US laws.

Youtube Is Breaking Laws?

As per the complaint filed with FTC, Youtube and Google are violating US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa), which is much debated, and strict law in the US.

The main premise of the complaint is that any company which stores data related to kids below 13 years of age must get parental consent to do so. But with Youtube’s case, no such consent or approval was sought from the parents.

Josh Golin, executive director of the CCFC, which is one of the parties in this complaint said,

“Google profits immensely by delivering ads to kids and must comply with Coppa. It’s time for the FTC to hold Google accountable for its illegal data collection and advertising practices.”

Youtube Responds; Says They Will Fight The Case

Google has already stated everywhere, that Youtube is not for kids below 13 years, and they have in fact created a separate platform for kids, called Youtube Kids.

And this is the line of thought which Youtube is sticking on to, as the case has been filed.

In a statement, Youtube said,

“We will read the complaint thoroughly and evaluate if there are things we can do to improve. 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.”

A spokeswoman for the Federal Trade Commission has said,

“We haven’t received the letter yet but look forward to reviewing it,”

The outcome of this case and the decision by FTC can trigger a chain of events, all over the world.

We will keep you updated.

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