Google has agreed to pay $170 million as a settlement for charges after it illegally collected and shared data from children on its video service YouTube, critics are saying the deal is too soft on the internet mogul.
Google marketed itself as a destination for kids and benefitted when it sold advertising to toymakers and others when they sought to connect with young audiences according to the Fair-Trading Commission.
The FTC chairman Joe Simons said the fine “prevents YouTube and Google from turning a blind eye to the existence of kids-directed content” on the platform.
Officials said, “the settlement with the New York state Attorney General is the largest amount in a case involving the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, it is a 1998 federal law.
YouTube violated the law that requests parental consent prior to collecting personal information from kids under 13 years of age which they might use as advertising. When online services and child-directed websites were viewed by kids.
The platform is required to have knowledge that when videos are directed at children Google is liable for violations by third-party content creators, going beyond federal law.
Mr. Simon said there is no other company in the US is subject to these requirements.
In order to keep advertising dollars rolling in, YouTube and Google knowingly and illegally monitored, served and tracked targeted ads to young kids.
YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki said, “we will treat data from anyone watching children’s content on YouTube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user.
Google also plans to create a $100 million fund “dedicated to the creation of thoughtful, original children’s content on YouTube and YouTube Kids globally.”
FTC is set to receive $136 million and New York state the balance of $34 million.