Child advocaty groups file complaint about YouTube data collection practices

Eloise Marshall
April 9, 2018

YouTube plans to release a non-algorithmic, whitelisted version of its YouTube Kids app some time in the near future as a way to avoid inadvertently suggesting questionable or graphic content to children, according to a report this evening from BuzzFeed News.

As the Google-owned platform grapples with the implications from a shooting last week by a disgruntled YouTube creator at its San Bruno, Calif. headquarters, the company now stands accused of pocketing billions by illegally targeting minors with ads based on data mined from their devices and viewing habits.

After months of harsh coverage of the malicious or inappropriate content that keeps popping up on YouTube Kids, ranging from videos of Peppa Pig drinking bleach to David Icke conspiracy rants, Google seems to have partially conceded and is planning on rolling out a human-curated version of the app.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Center for Digital Democracy and 18 other privacy and consumer-protection groups are set to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on Monday, asking it to crack down on YouTube's data collection practices for kids.

YouTube's provisions of service say it is not for anyone under 13. Indeed, numerous site's most popular channels are targeted specifically at these lower age brackets.

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And YouTube is undeniably popular with tweens, or kids between 8 to 12 years old, and even younger children.

"Google profits immensely by delivering ads to kids and must comply with Coppa".

In a statement on Friday, YouTube said, "While we haven't received the complaint, protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us. 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".

If you are into the habit of reading news (no pun, we get it), you must be aware of the trouble that social media giant Facebook is now in because of different reasons like data theft and deleting Mark Zuckerberg's messages from recipients' inboxes.

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