YouTube was hit with double the complaints regarding its policy toward content for kids. In both cases, the government was called upon to take action.
Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusets, sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Tuesday on urging the agency to “hold YouTube accountable for any illegal activity affecting children that the company may have committed.” This comes after a report on June 19 showed that the video platform may be hit with fines for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
COPPA passed in 1998 and has guidelines preventing the collection of data on children under the age of 13 without parental consent. In his letter, Sen. Markey points out there are YouTube channels with millions of subscribers directed to kids.
Personal information about a child can be leveraged to hook consumers for years to come,” the Senator wrote in the letter. “It is incumbent upon the FTC to enforce federal law and act as a check against the ever-increasing appetite for children’s data.”
Also on Tuesday, two consumer privacy groups also demand the FTC to take action against YouTube.
The Center for Digital Democracy and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood also sent letters to the FTC on Tuesday. Both organizations say they found it “outlandish” that Google’s claims YouTube is not meant for children.
Included with the letter was a list of recommended penalties including the deletion of user data for all children, civil penalties and “a $100 million fund to be used to support the production of noncommercial, high-quality, and diverse content for children.”
YouTube and the FTC didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
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