The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday said the U.S. has ordered Google to pay $170 million in order to settle allegations of YouTube collecting data from minors without the consent of their parents.
The commission said the U.S. government had previously accused the video hosting platform, which belongs to the tech giant, of illegally tracking and targeting users under the age of 13.
The U.S. law that banned collecting information about children under the age of 13 came into effect in 1998, and was revised in 2013 to include “cookies’’.
According to authorities, YouTube abused its powers and used cookies without parental consent to create targeted advertisements for minors.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman, Joe Simons, said “YouTube touted its popularity with children to prospective corporate clients.
“Yet when it came to complying with the federal law banning collecting data on children, the company refused to acknowledge that portions of its platform were clearly directed to kids’’.
According to the commission, the settlement required YouTube to notify channel owners about their obligations to get consent from their parents before collecting data on kids.
Google is also being investigated in the EU for allegedly breaching privacy laws and sharing its users’ personal information with advertisers.
The Irish data regulator that oversees Google’s Dublin-based European activities is also conducting an investigation to see whether the corporation has violated the privacy of EU citizens.