FTC reaches reported settlement with Google over YouTube child privacy violations

FTC reaches reported settlement with Google over YouTube child privacy violations
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reportedly finalized a settlement with Google after launching an investigation into YouTube over whether its handling of children’s videos violated federal data privacy laws.

The settlement concludes that Google did not adequately shield children who were using the platform and collected their data in violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), The Washington Post reports, citing two sources.

Under COPPA, websites must obtain parental consent before collecting data on children under the age of 13. The FTC has faced mounting scrutiny from critics who claim it is unwilling to enforce the law.

The company is expected to pay a multimillion-dollar fine following the FTC settlement, but the exact amount is unknown, The Post reports.

The FTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. Google declined to comment.

The reported settlement comes after consumer advocates, including the Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, have pushed for the FTC to come down hard on YouTube’s handling of children’s privacy.

The FTC said this week that it is looking to update its rules on internet privacy for children amid such concerns.

YouTube has said it is working to address such issues, saying it removed more than 800,000 videos in the first quarter of 2019 that violated their child safety rules. In June, it announced other changes, such as restricting minors from live-streaming without an adult to disabling comments on videos with minors.

Updated: 12:15 p.m.