Three months ago, Google's YouTube unit was hit by a record $170 million fine from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and major new child privacy rules, foreign media CNET reported. Now,YouTube wants the U.S. government to loosen its platform restrictions under the children's Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa).
In a blog post late Monday, YouTube said that at present, FTC guidelines require platforms to treat anyone who primarily views directed content for children as a child under the age of 13. This may not be the case. Adults may watch childhood cartoons on youtube, or teachers may be looking for content to share with students. At present, whether the viewers are children or adults, YouTube must have more strict privacy protection for children's animation.
Therefore, YouTube must prohibit the use of personalized advertising (its main source of revenue) in all child oriented videos. This is one of the comprehensive requirements for FTC to crack down on how to treat children's data privacy on large YouTube video websites.
YouTube also requires Coppa to provide clearer guidance for videos that are defined as "for children" and "balanced and clear guidelines" for uploaders who may be subject to Coppa rules but do not fully understand them.
YouTube is the world's largest online video source, with 2 billion active users every month, and a large part of the billions of videos viewed on the website are aimed at children. Children's content may be the most viewed video category on YouTube as a whole, according to a study. But YouTube has been exposed in a series of scandals involving children, including videos of child abuse, nightmarish content in its YouTube kids app and predatory comments.
In September, FTC imposed a new and significant privacy requirement on youtube and a record $170 million fine to address the investigation of data collected by YouTube on its giant video site without the consent of its parents. This is the largest penalty ever imposed for Coppa violations.
The settlement agreement allows YouTube to limit data collected in video viewing for children to a minimum. YouTube stopped playing videos for children and banned personalized ads, comments, notifications, etc.
"We strongly support Coppa's goal of providing strong protection for children and their privacy," YouTube said on Monday "We also believe that Coppa will benefit from updates and clarifications that better reflect how today's children and families use technology, while still allowing access to content that helps them learn, grow and explore," the company said in the article
The FTC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
YouTube's comments on FTC are part of a month long public feedback period for Coppa.