Google and FTC reach a multimillion-dollar settlement in wake of YouTube violations

Google and the Federal Trade Commission have reached a settlement following the investigation into YouTube’s failure to protect children’s data and information, according to The Washington Post. Google is expected to pay a multimillion-dollar fine after the FTC found that YouTube had not only inadequately protected children’s information but was actively collecting it as well.

This is a clear violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, which prohibits the tracking and collection of data from users younger than 13 years old. Although YouTube has been taking steps to make its platform safer for children, the FTC has received complaint after complaint over the past couple years.

To try and resolve the privacy issues, YouTube has proposed moving all child-focused content off its main platform and into its kid-friendly app. Google has also said it will change its YouTube algorithms to prevent child-related videos from automatically uploading in the queues.

After the FTC voted on the settlement -which was supported by three Republicans and opposed by 2 Democrats – it now goes to the Department of Justice, which will make the final decision. The Washington Post stated that the DOJ “rarely upends the FTC’s settlements with companies under its watch.”