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Google and FTC reach $170 million settlement over alleged YouTube violations of kids’ privacy

Google and FTC reach $170 million settlement over alleged YouTube violations of kids' privacy

Google will be paying a fine of $170 million to settle charges which accuse YouTube of violating the law and knowingly selling advertisements targeted to kids, announced the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Wednesday.

The settlement is the biggest-ever fine covered by Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Google subsidiary YouTube allegedly broke the laws under COPPA by gathering user data from children to boost its advertising business. The penalty may have an impact on the strategies used by creators of kid’s videos on the platform, which includes huge firms like Hasbro and Mattel, as per the federal officials.

This the second incidence in 2 months where the FTC has slammed a high profile tech firm with a massive fine. The commission had slapped Facebook with a $5bn settlement in the month of July. And, this showcases the power of online advertising as well as personal information, the fusion of which has made both Facebook and Google dominant firms in marketing economy.

The settlement, which still needs an approval from a judge, is a breakthrough for the nearly 20-year old COPPA law. The law prevents firms from utilizing or even sharing personal information of children under 13 years without prior content of parents.