YouTube faces lawsuit in UK alleging it violates children’s privacy. Parent company Google should both know better and know how to combat this. It’s similar to a lawsuit that was brought in the United States not too long ago.
Previous YouTube lawsuit
Last year, the Federal Trade Commission in the United States filed a lawsuit against YouTube, accusing it of violating the children’s online privacy law, known as COPPA.
Users don’t need to be logged in or registered on YouTube to view most videos, which means there is no way to not allow children to view them. The FTC said in its complaint that YouTube wooed toy companies Mattel and Hasbro by saying, “YouTube has been voted unanimously as the favorite website for children ages 2 to 12” and “93% of tweens visit YouTube to watch videos. “
Still, a Google employee wrote: “We don’t have any users under 13 on YouTube and the mainstream platform / site so there is no channel / content intended for children and no COPPA compliance is required. “
You can’t have it has it both ways – it can’t be very popular with kids without the kids coming. Google and the FTC have reached a $ 170 million settlement.
The British trial
You would think Google would have learned its lesson last year. Duncan McCann, a technology researcher, has filed a lawsuit in the UK High Court alleging that YouTube knowingly violated children’s privacy laws. The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of £ 2.5 billion (approximately $ 3.2 billion). McCann Acts As Representative Plaintiff, Which Makes It Similar To A Class Action In The United States
“YouTube and its parent company Google are ignoring laws designed to protect children,” wrote Foxglove, a UK tech group supporting this claim.
“They know very well that millions of children watch YouTube. They make money illegally collecting data on these young children by watching YouTube videos – and then running highly targeted ads designed to influence vulnerable young minds, ”Foxglove continued.
Just like in the United States, Google defended itself by saying that YouTube is not intended for users under the age of 13. “We launched the YouTube Kids app as a dedicated destination for kids and we are still working to better protect children and families through YouTube,” claimed Google.
The lawsuit points to the same “trap” that the US lawsuit did, the bragging of children’s use of YouTube to Mattel and Hasbro. He also added a UK government report from last February that found around 75% of UK children aged five to 15 watch YouTube, and around half of UK preschoolers aged three and four do the same.
Foxglove cites a UK law similar to COPPA: “We believe it is illegal because YouTube processes the data of every child who uses the service, including children under 13. They take advantage of this data because they are paid by advertisers to target advertising on their YouTube website.
“They do all of this without getting the express consent of the children’s parents. Under GDPR and UK law, companies cannot process the data of children under 13 “ at all ” without the express consent of parents. Parents disagree about the many ways YouTube uses children’s data. “
The children’s privacy lawsuit has been filed on behalf of over 5 million children in England and Wales and seeks compensation of between £ 100 and £ 500 for every child who has watched content YouTube since May 25, 2018 – the day the GDPR came into effect.
“Google’s drive to take advantage of children’s attention has turned the corners of YouTube into a bizarre tech-colored nightmare,” said Cori Crider, director of Foxglove. “The real price of ‘free’ YouTube services is that kids are addicted to, influenced and exploited by Google. It is already illegal to mine the data of children under 13, but Google will not clean up its act until it is forced into the courts. “
The YouTube lawsuit isn’t the only Google product facing complaints about children’s privacy. Read on to learn more about a complaint filed with the FTC on the Google Play Store allowing “inappropriate” children’s apps.
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