YouTube has been fined $ 150 million and $ 200 million for collecting data from children under 13 without their parents' permission. The fine is the result of an investigation that began last year when parents asked the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to check whether the platform had this right.
Only the approximate amount has been revealed, the exact amount of the fine could be released next week, according to Bloomberg.
In addition, the FTC concluded that a specific law was circumvented, the Online Privacy Protection for Children (COPPA). It includes a ban on the use of child data for ad targeting. This can complicate things a bit. Part of YouTube's financial success is due to its planning on targeted ad delivery, thanks to the large search engine database and the platform itself.
The sale of video ads has generated good money for Alphabet, owner of YouTube and also Google. The streaming platform is the second-largest source of profit. In addition, research firm Loup Ventures estimates that 5%, or approximately $ 750 million per year of YouTube's annual revenue, comes from content intended for children.
The news of the fine comes a few days after the arrival of its own website for YouTube Kids, which was already available as an app on the Google Store. On the site, parents may choose what type of content their children can watch, including by age segmentation. This may be a way to ease allegations about exposure to adult content on the platform.
Meanwhile, YouTube tries to diversify its content with its own Netflix-style productions.
— YouTube (@YouTube) August 29, 2019