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Did YouTube Track Your Kids Online?


Consumer and child protection groups have filed a complaint with FTC claiming that Google's YouTube has been violating federal law by collecting personal data of and advertising to those aged under 13.

A coalition of 23 child advocacy, consumer and privacy groups, which include he Center for Digital Democracy, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood,
Berkeley Media Studies Group, Center for Media Justice, have filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission.

Meanwhile, YouTube said it has not reviewed the complaint yet, but will read it thoroughly and evaluate if there are things it can improve.

"Because YouTube is not for children, we've invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative, specifically designed for children," a YouTube representative said in a statement Monday, according to Variety.com.

The coalition of groups have requested the FTC to investigate and assess sanctions, including injunctive relief and civil penalties, against Google for violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act and the FTC's COPPA Rule through its YouTube online service and advertising network services.

Around 80% of children in the U.S. aged between 6 and 12 use YouTube daily, according to a 2017 survey by research firm Smarty Pants.

"Google has actual knowledge that children under age 13 are using YouTube. Google nonetheless collects and uses personal information from all YouTube users, including children under the age of 13, without giving notice or obtaining advanced, verifiable parental consent as required by COPPA," the Group claims.

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