On September 4th 2019, the company YouTube, owned by Google, was fined 170 million dollars. Why, you may ask? We'll, YouTube was fined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for a child privacy violation lawsuit. This lawsuit was put into motion because YouTube was “spying” on kids’ YouTube accounts. Now, the reason why they were “spying” was to put out specialized ads for children and to flag the videos that are most commonly watched by the children. To justify this, YouTube says they put this information into the YouTube Kids App to make it a safer and more efficient service to younger viewers. As a response to this lawsuit, YouTube has stated that it is going to completely stop the display of ads on videos related to kids and turn off the notifications and comments of children-related videos.
This Privacy Violation Law is effective until a child is 13 years old. For anyone younger than the required age of 13, it would still be illegal for YouTube to collect data on them. Even though a fine has been paid and YouTube fully understands that it will pay for its actions if a violation happens again, many people still do not fully trust them. For example, Digital Information World said, “Despite the settlement and the new policies launched by YouTube, the majority of people still fail to trust YouTube and accuse it of violating Children’s Online Privacy for years. Even two members of the FTC also voted against the settlement.” YouTube, because of this lawsuit, has lost a tremendous amount of money. Much of this money has been either given to NewYork or to the FTC.
The next big issue is the money. It has become very clear that Google and YouTube are going to be losing a tremendous amount of money. Now I’m sure you're wondering, where is all this money going to or who is it going to? Well Google will pay 34 million of it to New York and the other 136 million will go to the FTC. This is said to be the highest amount ever paid to settle a fine. This is also the biggest amount ever paid to the FTC for a case since the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was formed in 1998. This case has vastly affected YouTube, many people now don’t trust it, but somehow Google’s stock has gone up by +4.10.
Story by Hadley Wallace