FTC has consummated a settlement with Google in the YouTube kid’s privacy breach case.
Three Republicans of the agency support the settlement. But apparently, two Democrats are in opposition. It was found that Google lacked in protecting kids who use its video streaming service. As a consequence, it collected their data and breaching the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The COPPA proscribes the targeting and tracking of users under the age of 13.
YouTube will have to pay a hefty multi-million dollar fine. But the fine money and any other outlines of the FTC settlement are not clear. The Justice Department will handle the matter now, which seldom turns down any FTC’s settlements.
There are no comments so far from the agency spokeswoman Cathy MacFarlane and Google spokesman Chris Dale on the matter.
Privacy advocates did file complaints to FTC about YouTube. They alleged that some popular channels of YouTube feature nursery rhymes, videos of people opening kid’s toys and other cartoons even though they are not meant for kids.
For Google, however, the fine is small as compared to its annual revenue. Nevertheless, there is a large dynamics of legal risks involved for both Google and the industry. Some social media sites like Instagram and Snap Chat also shared the complaints filed by the privacy advocates.
FTC has started to rethink about how to enforce COPPA after this settlement. Joe Simons, the chairman of the agency said that the updates on the process will come within a week. The rules must be rechecked based on the rapid changes in technology. Websites, video games, and other services that are not meant for children but still influence them are under FTC’s consideration.