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FTC May Investigate YouTube Over Child Privacy Violations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently been sent a request from four nonprofit groups in regards to YouTube violating children’s privacy with their targeted ads.

YouTube Privacy Violations

As reported by arstechnica.com, four nonprofit groups have sent a letter to the US FTC to request that YouTube is investigated over its data and advertising practices primarily in regard to children. The letter from ‘Fairplay’ alleges that YouTube may still be harvesting the data of children in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The groups behind the letter ran ad campaigns to check if YouTube were blocking personalized ads in videos that were aimed at children and discovered that it was not the case and the targeted ads were still appearing on these videos, 1446 times to be specific.

This accusation is fairly serious as YouTube has already been hit previously with a penalty for violating COPPA and if found to violate it again there could be a much larger penalty, possibly in the billions. The New York Times received a statement from a Google spokesperson, Michael Aciman, who claimed “We do not allow ads personalization on made-for-kids content, and we do not allow advertisers to target children with ads across any of our products,”.

For now, the accusing party will have to wait for the FTC to conduct their own investigation before anything can happen here and that could take some time.

Jakob Aylesbury

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