YouTube officials are “finalizing” plans to ban targeted ads from running on videos that kids are most likely to watch, according to Bloomberg. The move comes after the Federal Trade Commission reached a “multimillion-dollar” settlement with Google, after it was discovered YouTube was breaching the Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA).
Under COPPA, YouTube was required to prevent the collection of data from children under 13, and also actively protect the children on the platform. Multiple groups complained to the FTC, claiming the Google-owned website had been putting children at risk, resulting in an investigation.
YouTube has already taken subtle steps to make the main website more kid-friendly, like closing comments on videos that star young children due to pedophiliac responses. The website also stopped auto-playing recommended videos that featured kids. YouTube “has long maintained that its primary site is not for children”, and even created a separate YouTube Kids app that houses more appropriate content.
By putting a stop to targeted ads on the videos kids are likely to watch, YouTube and Google will most likely take a huge ad sales hit, but it may beat any future multimillion-dollar fines coming from the FTC. Ironically, Bloomberg reported that groups who had originally complained to the FTC are still not satisfied by the steps taken and would like to see more to protect children on the platform.