YouTube Accused of Children’s Privacy Violations

Article from The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/30/technology/youtube-childrens-privacy-fine.html

Members of the Federal Trade Commission have voted to fine YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, $150-200 million dollars. These large fines are in result of the accusations that YouTube is illegally collecting personal data about children on its site.

This settlement would set a new record for the largest civil penalty ever obtained by the FTC, specifically in a children’s privacy case. The previous record holder was $5.7 million against the owners of TikTok, a video-sharing app. It is important to note that while the FTC has voted for the settlement to be approved, the Justice Department will review the request and ultimately make the final decision on the case.

This issue concerning the protection of children’s personal information comes at a time when legislators and lawmakers in the United States and the European Union are starting to aggressively challenge the power that these tech giants like Google and Facebook have and exercise over the societies in which they have large presence. Companies life Facebook often receive fines for abusing user data, but since they are so large and successful, a couple million dollars doesn’t exactly slow their efforts. Congress recently introduced a series of privacy and transparency bills in attempts to create more protection for Americans’ social media data and other important personal information.

One reason this fine is so large compared to others in the past is because the case has renewed complaints from consumer advocates that YouTube has failed to acknowledge. These complaints should require that the agency make substantive changes to its data-mining practices.

While this is a major consequence for any company, there has been response to this case stating that this fine for YouTube is more or less a slap on the hand. Legislators need to take a tougher stand to protect children’s privacy, especially since in today’s society children grow up with access to these and many other Social Media platforms.

Today, the issue within large tech companies and user privacy always finds its roots in data-mining and manipulation of personal information. I am especially interested in data, analytics, and marketing which is why I chose to read and summarize this particular article. I believe this debate is one that is far from over. Large companies and legislators like the FTC will always butt heads over privacy policies, and the lack-thereof.

One thought on “YouTube Accused of Children’s Privacy Violations

  1. andreabecassis

    I enjoyed this article and think it’s very interesting to keep up with how governments around the world treat Big Tech and their data mining practices. It’s clear now that the platforms’ power and influence has grown out of control and needs to be tamed somehow, but I also think it’s cool that free social media has the ability to surpass government control and probably knows more about us than intelligence agencies.

    It’s the government’s responsibility to make sure that we are not being abused by this companies, but at the same time it’s cool to watch them struggle with that.

    Like

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