Google's YouTube pays $ 170 million to clarify the allegations of the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that it has earned millions for illegally collecting children's personal information without parental consent.
The shares of Google's parent company Alphabet rose by about 0.8% after the announcement.
The settlement announced Wednesday will see Google and YouTube pay $ 136 million to the FTC and $ 34 million to New York for allegedly violating Children's Online Privacy Act. The $ 136 million fine is the largest amount ever received by the FTC in a COPPA case since Congress passed the law in 1
"YouTube has been promoting its popularity with potential corporate customers among children," said Joe Simons, chairman of the FTC, who voted in favor of the deal. "However, when it came to compliance with COPPA, the company refused to acknowledge that parts of its platform were clearly intended for children, and there is no excuse for the violations of YouTube." Data practices and consent of parents to gather information about children under the age of 13. The complaint alleged that YouTube had collected, without the consent of the parents, personal information from "viewer-friendly channels" using cookies in order to track user behavior on the Internet.
YouTube marketed Mattel and Hasbro as "leaders" in reaching children ages 6 to 11, the verdict found. In one case, however, the company informed an advertising company that it had no users on its platform under the age of 13, and therefore, the channels on its platform did not need to be COPPA compliant, Google, and YouTube "developing, deploying, and maintaining a system that allows channel owners to identify their sub-content on the YouTube platform, "so that YouTube can ensure compliance with COPPA. In addition, before collecting personal data from children, they must provide information about their data collection practices and "seek verifiable parental consent".
"For the third time since 2011, the Federal Trade Commission sanctions Google for data breaches," said FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra in a divergent statement. "This latest breach is extremely grave and has led children to use nursery rhymes, cartoons and other child-friendly content on curated YouTube channels to run their hugely profitable behavioral advertising business."
This informed Chopra of Google's settlement with repeated many of the same mistakes from the flawed Facebook agreement: no individual accountability, inadequate remedies to tackle the company's financial incentives, and a fine that continues to allow the company Benefiting Law Violations Google warns its investors.
Chopra and his Democratic commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter both voted against the FTC's earlier agreement with Facebook over $ 5 billion, ending an investigation into their data practices. Like the Facebook agreement, both argued that the Google Deal did not go far enough to contain what they call harmful practices.
"When it comes to fencing reliefs, the current order looks like a fence, but one with only three sides," wrote Slaughter in a divergent explanation. "The missing fourth page is a mechanism to ensure that content creators tell the truth when they call their content non-subordinate content. And such a mechanism is undoubtedly in YouTube's tremendous technological capacity. "
The settlement is the latest move from regulators to tackling data breaches by major technology companies, including the recent agreement with Facebook, the Department of Justice, and the Attorney General William Barr has also announced antitrust investigations, which are reportedly also heard by Google.
The company also faces criticism of disinformation and violent content, and last week, CEO Susan Wojcicki did twice as much to "open" YouTube believe that it will bring more good than bad for society
The FTC will hold a press conference in Washington at 11:00 CET to discuss the deal.
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