Google will pay $170 million dollars in order to settle allegations of YouTube collecting data from minors without asking for consent from their parents, the US Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.
The US law that banned collecting information about children under the age of 13 came into effect in 1998, and was revised in 2013 to include "cookies". According to authorities, YouTube abused its powers and used cookies without parental consent to create targeted advertisements for minors.
"YouTube touted its popularity with children to prospective corporate clients", FTC Chairman Joe Simons said. "Yet when it came to complying with [the federal law banning collecting data on children], the company refused to acknowledge that portions of its platform were clearly directed to kids".
The settlement also required YouTube to notify channel owners about their obligations to get consent from their parents before collecting data on kids.
Google has also come under fire in the EU for allegedly breaching privacy laws and sharing its users’ personal information with advertisers.