Federal Trade Commission today announced that Google and its subsidiary YouTube will pay a record $170 million fine for illegally collecting personal information from children without their parents’ consent. Google’s behavior directly violated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. Google and YouTube will pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York. FTC mentioned that YouTube earned millions of dollars by using the information collected from children.
“YouTube touted its popularity with children to prospective corporate clients,” said FTC Chairman Joe Simons. “Yet when it came to complying with COPPA, the company refused to acknowledge that portions of its platform were clearly directed to kids. There’s no excuse for YouTube’s violations of the law.”
- In addition to the fine, FTC has forced Google and YouTube to develop, implement, and maintain a system that permits YouTube channel owners to identify their child-directed content on the YouTube platform so that YouTube can ensure it is complying with COPPA.
- The settlement also prohibits Google and YouTube from violating the COPPA Rule, and requires them to provide notice about their data collection practices and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting personal information from children.