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FTC Asked to Look Into Potential Children’s Privacy Violations by Google

Data collection rules

FTC Asked to Look Into Potential Children’s Privacy Violations by Google

Lawmakers are urging the Federal Trade Commission to probe YouTube and parent company Google for potentially violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires parents to consent before companies can gather data on users below 13 years old.

Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Ed Markey sent a letter to the agency on Thursday after an Adalytics study emerged indicating that more than 300 ads for adult products were presented on 100 “made for kids” videos. The ads directed users to web pages containing trackers that harvest visitor data.

Google spokesperson Farrell Sklerov denied the report’s claims, asserting that Adalytics came to uninformed conclusions based on cookies for detecting fraud and capping frequencies, two activities allowed under COPPA.

In 2019, Google and YouTube paid the FTC and the state of New York $170 million to settle charges that children’s personal information was being collected without parental consent. As part of the settlement, YouTube agreed to create a system that prevented children from receiving targeted advertising.

Blackburn and Markey contend that, in addition to COPPA, YouTube could also have violated the 2019 agreement by exposing potentially millions of children to data harvesting, CyberScoop reported Thursday.

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Category: Cybersecurity

Tags: CyberScoop cybersecurity data privacy Ed Markey Federal Trade Commission Google Marsha Blackburn YouTube