YouTube fined for violating children’s privacy laws

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    YouTube has been fined a record $170m for violating children’s privacy laws.

    According to the BBC, the video-streaming site is accused of collecting data on children under 13, without parental consent.

    The Federal Trade Commissionsaid the data was then used to target ads to the children, which contravened the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa).

    Google, which owns YouTube, agreed to pay the sum in a settlement with the FTC.

    FTC chairman Joe Simons says when it came to complying with Coppa, Google had refused to acknowledge that parts of its main YouTube service were directed at children.

    However, in presentations to business clients, the company is accused of painting a different picture.

    For example, the FTC said the tech firm had told Mattel: “YouTube is today’s leader in reaching children age 6-11 against top TV channels.”

    Google will have to pay $136m to the FTC – the largest ever fine in a Coppa case – and a further $34m to the state of New York.