- How to watch ‘Kidding’ for free 1 Year Ago
- What’s the deal with Bran Stark at the end of ‘Game of Thrones’? Today 6:30 AM
- How to watch TruTV online for free Today 6:00 AM
- Fans call out Madonna for edited Eurovision video Tuesday 9:36 PM
- Partnered Twitch streamer temporarily banned for airing troll’s racist message Tuesday 8:45 PM
- Reddit theory says fans are wrong about who won ‘Game of Thrones’ Tuesday 6:52 PM
- Elon Musk hires ‘absolute unit’ sheep meme creator to be Tesla’s social media manager Tuesday 6:12 PM
- Jason Momoa stands by his Khaleesi after the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale Tuesday 4:05 PM
- Airbnb, 23andMe partner for creepy heritage travel recommendations Tuesday 3:26 PM
- Rep. Katie Porter goes viral again for trouncing Ben Carson (updated) Tuesday 3:26 PM
- This deepfake takes Bill Hader’s Schwarzenegger impression to the next level Tuesday 2:58 PM
- Wanda Sykes rails against Trump and offers much-needed perspective in ‘Not Normal’ Tuesday 2:41 PM
- Man arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot YouTube employees Tuesday 2:13 PM
- Some House Dems are backing away from the Save the Internet Act Tuesday 1:40 PM
- Thousands sign petition calling for Danny DeVito to play Wolverine Tuesday 1:02 PM
YouTube illegally collects data on kids, claim child protection groups
Nearly two dozen groups are targeting YouTube.
As YouTube tries to make its site safer for children, nearly two dozen child advocacy and privacy groups have launched a complaint, alleging that Google is illegally collecting the personal data of users under 13 years old.
According to the Guardian, 23 groups involved with child advocacy, consumer issues, and privacy filed the complaint against the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), saying that YouTube advertises to those under the age of 13, that it collects their data, and that it tracks them across different websites without obtaining parental consent as required by federal law.
“For years, Google has abdicated its responsibility to kids and families by disingenuously claiming YouTube—a site rife with popular cartoons, nursery rhymes, and toy ads—is not for children under 13,” Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, said, via the newspaper. “Google profits immensely by delivering ads to kids and must comply with COPPA [the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act]. It’s time for the FTC to hold Google accountable for its illegal data collection and advertising practices.”
YouTube, which says the site is meant for users 13 years or older, has come under plenty of controversy for what it shows to minors. YouTube reportedly is overhauling its YouTube Kids app and using strictly human curators so conspiracy theory and other inappropriate videos aren’t aimed at children by gaming the site’s search algorithm. But so far, the site’s efforts haven’t stopped children from being targeted by those who are uploading conspiracy videos and other disturbing non-kid-friendly videos that feature Disney characters and other superheroes.
Now, these 23 groups want the FTC to investigate.
“Google has acted duplicitously by falsely claiming in its terms of service that YouTube is only for those who are age 13 or older, while it deliberately lured young people into an ad-filled digital playground,” the Center for Digital Democracy’s Jeff Chester said. “Just like Facebook, Google has focused its huge resources on generating profits instead of protecting privacy.”
Said a YouTube spokesperson in a statement: “While we haven’t received the complaint, protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us. 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.”
According to CNET, a Common Sense Media survey reported that only 24 percent of children use the YouTube Kids app, while 71 percent of parents said their kids watch videos on the main YouTube site or its main app.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.