This morning the Federal Trade Commission collected $170 million from Alphabet to settle lawsuits from state and federal levels in response to violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The lawsuits alleged that Google was collecting the personal data and information of children without their consent. The allegations indicated that Google had amassed wide access to children’s online cookies, enabling them to be tracked and targeted with specific ads on YouTube.
Google has publicly announced they will be undergoing sweeping changes to the YouTube platform in order to ensure privacy for kids on the site. They will now presume anyone viewing children’s content may be a child, and will no longer collect their data and target them with specific ads. Comments will be disabled on videos created by children and features including likes and notifications may be hidden on certain children’s videos. YouTube will be using machine earning and artificial intelligence to implement these changes, which are expected to be in action within the next four months. Kid’s videos represent a giant market on YouTube, so it is promising to see them taking the necessary steps to protect them in compliance with the COPPA.