YouTube Is Improperly Collecting Children’s Data, Consumer Groups Say

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YouTube Is Improperly Collecting Children’s Data, Consumer Groups Say
The coalition of consumer groups said YouTube failed to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law
that requires companies to obtain consent from parents before collecting data on children younger than 13.
“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.”
Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood who is also leading
the coalition, said YouTube had been “actively packaging under-13 content for advertisers.”
To bolster their case, the groups shared screenshots of Barbie advertisements set to appear between videos aimed at children.
YouTube said this year that human beings working for the platform would screen all videos from creators whose work appeared on Google Preferred, which the consumer advocates cited as proof
that Google employees “have actual knowledge that the content is child-directed.” YouTube has also brokered ad deals with toy companies like Mattel, and has noted how its video ads have helped children’s channels attract specific audiences, like American parents with children under 5
In the complaint that will be filed on Monday with the commission, the advocacy groups say YouTube is able to collect data on children under 13 through its main site, where cartoons, nursery-rhyme videos
and those ever-popular toy-unboxing clips garner millions of views.
The complaint contends that YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, has been collecting
and profiting from the personal information of young children on its main site, although the company says the platform is meant only for users 13 and older.

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