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FTC complaint says YouTube should be fined billions for harvesting children’s data

FTC complaint says YouTube should be fined billions for harvesting children’s data
[Photo: heladodementa/Pixabay]

More than 20 advocacy, consumer, and privacy groups have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that YouTube parent company Google has violated U.S. child protection laws by collecting personal data on children under 13 years old, reports CNBC. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Google harvests children’s personal data, including phone numbers and location, and tracks them across the web without obtaining their parent’s consent–a requirement dictated by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In a statement released with the complaint on Monday, Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, one of the advocacy groups behind the complaint, said:

“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. Just like Facebook, Google has focused its huge resources on generating profits instead of protecting privacy.”

For Google’s part, it says it has not seen the complaint yet, but that “protecting kids and families has always been a top priority.”

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