Tech reports the groups have asked the Federal Trade Commission in the United States to investigate whether Google violated the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), created to protect against collection of minors' data online. This large demographic recently prompted Google to introduce a dedicated service catering to younger viewers called YouTube Kids; asserting that its main platform is only for those aged 13 and above.
A woman identified by police as the attacker who wounded three people at YouTube's headquarters in California was a vegan blogger who accused the video-sharing service of discriminating against her, according to her online profile. Some of the most popular channels on YouTube are also those aimed at young kids, like ChuChu TV Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs, which has 15.9 million subscribers and over 10 billion channel views, and LittleBabyBum, which has 14.6 million subscribers and over 14 billion channel views.
The statement went on to point parents to the YouTube Kids app as an alternative site for children.
"Advertisers can target children by using keywords such as "kid, ' 'child, ' 'toddler, ' 'baby" or 'toy.' AdWords will even suggest keywords such as 'barbie doll dream house, '" the complaint states.
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Websites run for children must inform parents if they collect personal data, and must seek parental permission before tracking data about children.
The coalition, which includes the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Centre for Digital Democracy, Consumer Federation of America and 20 other organisations, alleges that despite Google claiming that YouTube is only for those aged 13 and above, it is aware that children use the site.
But anyone can watch YouTube videos without an account or logging in.
But that model isn't supposed to work for United States children, who are protected by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. A quick glance at the YouTube Terms of Service does indeed demonstrate that the video service is stipulated as not for children. In the complaint, the advocacy groups cites a 2017 which shows that 80% of children between the ages of 6-12 use YouTube on a daily basis.
A complaint has been filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on YouTube, for allegedly collecting information of children under 13. The allegations suggest that the video hosting site is data collecting on children under 13 which is against USA law.