A coalition of 23 child advocacy, consumer and privacy groups have filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission alleging that Google is violating child protection laws by collecting personal data of and advertising to those aged under 13.
It’s time for the FTC to hold Google accountable for its illegal data collection and advertising practices.”.
The group claims that YouTube is the most popular online platform for children in the US, used by about 80% of children aged six to 12 years old.
Google has a dedicated app for children called YouTube Kids that was released in 2015 and is designed to show appropriate content and ads to children.
The 59-page FTC complaint says “YouTube also has actual knowledge that many children are on YouTube, as evidenced by disclosures from content providers, public statements by YouTube executives, and the creation of the YouTube Kids app”.
A YouTube spokesperson said: “While we haven’t received the complaint, protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us.
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. »