Published: April 2018

Google and YouTube are invading children’s privacy

Consumer Action joined 23 consumer and privacy groups in taking a major step to protect children’s privacy by filing a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint detailing how Google is collecting personal data from children on YouTube without parental consent. The coalition asked the FTC to hold Google accountable for violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The groups charge that the company collected and profited from the data of millions of children without parental permission.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, is the only federal law regulating how to handle kids’ online data, and its demands are relatively straightforward: if you run a site for kids, or if you know kids are using your site, you need to a) tell their parents exactly what kind of personal data you collect, and b) get verifiable parental permission before you gather any information from or about kids. Instead of meeting these requirements, Google’s privacy policy says that YouTube isn’t for children under 13, and that kids shouldn’t use it.

With a new story breaking nearly every day about how consumers’ personal data is misused, the majority of Americans now believe that big tech companies should be regulated. We agree with them, and we think the best place to start is by enforcing the laws we already have.

Lead Organization

Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC)

Other Organizations

Center for Digital Democracy | Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood | Berkeley Media Studies Group | Center for Media Justice | Common Sense | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumer Federation of California | Consumers Union | Consumer Watchdog | Corporate Accountability | Defending the Early Years | Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) | New Dream | Obligation, Inc. | Parent Coalition for Student Privacy | Parents Across America | Parents Television Council | Privacy Rights Clearinghouse | Public Citizen | The Story of Stuff Project | TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Childhood Entertainment) | US PIRG

More Information

Click here to read the complaint to the FTC.

Please visit CCFC to learn more.

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