PAA joins Google/You Tube FTC complaint

Today, Parents Across America joined more than 20 civic and children’s advocacy organizations in filing a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint against Google for violating the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA) in operating YouTube in ways that target, collect information on, and market to children without parental notification. The complaint asks the FTC to subjet Google to penalties that could total in the billions of dollars.

The complaint details how Google, which owns You Tube, makes substantial profits collecting many types of personal information on kids on You Tube. Google claims that YouTube is only for users 13 and up, despite being the most popular online platform for children, used by over 80% of American children between the ages of 4 and 13. THe site features many programs designed and promoted for children, and Google generates significant profits from kid-targeted advertising.

The complaint demonstrates how Google profits from collecting many types of personal information on kids on YouTube, including geolocation, unique device identifiers, mobile telephone numbers, and persistent identifiers used to recognize a user over time and across different websites and online services.

Google collects this information without first providing direct notice to parents and obtaining their consent, and uses it to target advertisements to kids across the internet, including across devices. COPPA bars the operator of a web site directed to children, or that has knowledge of children using it, from collecting and using such information without obtaining parental consent.

You can read the full complaint here. This effort was led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy.


Posted on by Julie Woestehoff Posted in Misc

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