Google will pay a fine of $ 170 million for sharing data on YouTube children

WASHINGTON: Google agreed to pay a fine of $ 170 million to resolve charges that he illegally collected and shared data of children in his Youtube Video service without parental consent, US officials announced Wednesday.

The agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New York State Attorney General is the largest amount in a case related to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law from 1998.

Youtube touted its popularity with children to prospective corporate clients, said FTC chairman Joe Simons.

Yet when it came to complying with COPPA, the company refused to acknowledge that portions of its platform were clearly directed to kids. There's no excuse for Youtube 's violations of the law.

The settlement also calls for Youtube to change the way it handles children's content.

We will treat data from anyone watching children's content on Youtube as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user, Youtube chief Susan Wojcicki said in a statement.

This means that we will limit the collection and use of data in videos made for children only to what is necessary to support the operation of the service. We will also stop posting personalized ads on this content completely, and some features will no longer be available on this type of content, such as comments and notifications.

The agreement was approved by a 3-2 vote of the FTC commissioners, and the two Democrats called for tougher sanctions.

The agreement repeats many of the same mistakes in the failed Facebook agreement: lack of individual responsibility, insufficient remedies to address the company's financial incentives and a fine that still allows the company to benefit from its violation of the law, said the commissioner. Democrat Rohit Chopra.

The terms of the settlement were not even significant enough to make Google issue a warning to its investors.