Amidst much hype, Google has to cough up $170 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission for violating the privacy of children on YouTube. Adequate information came to light, which stated that the online behemoth had earned millions by leaking information about kids without their parents’ consent.
Google admits its mistake and has to pay $136 million to the FTC and an additional $34 million fine to New York state for not meeting the standards of COPPA. The COPPA rule requires child-directed websites and online services need parental consent before taking any information from children below the age of 13.
The penalty is the most the FTC has ever obtained this law came into being in 1998. However, it is just a fraction of the 5 billion dollar fine imposed on Facebook.
Security Protocols to Be Followed And The Way Ahead
Besides the monetary compensation, Google and Youtube are also engaging in talks to maintain security regarding consent on Youtube. Additional measures are likely to come into force to protect children
Creating and maintaining a system that lets channel owners peg ‘child-directed content’ on YouTube can make it sure that the COPPA guidelines are always maintained. Prompt notification must be sent to the channel owners if their content violatesCOPPA Rule’s obligations. Moreover, adequate annual training is needed so that such breaks and leaks do not repeat itself.
In her statement, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said that “nothing is more important than protecting kids and their privacy,” and added they would introduce a filter to prevent excessive downloads of material concerning children in future. Moreover, she also said that YouTube would stop personalized content on ads relating to children. Also, many features will cease to appear on this type of material, like comments and notifications. This move is an essential step that can go a long way in protecting children.