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Google reportedly facing a multimillion-dollar fine after an FTC investigation found that YouTube was in violation of children’s privacy laws

The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly finalized a settlement with Google after an investigation found that YouTube was in violation of federal children’s privacy laws. Specifically, the investigation found that YouTube was collecting data of children under the age of 13 on its video platform a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  The Washington Post report, which cited two people familiar with the matter, said the fine would likely be in the “multimillion-dollar” mark. 

The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly finalized a settlement with Google after an investigation found that YouTube was in violation of children’s privacy laws. Specifically, the investigation found in part that YouTube had been collecting the data of children under the age of 13 a violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  The Washington Post report, which cited two people familiar with the matter, said the fine would likely be in the “multimillion-dollar” range, but the exact amount has yet to be learned. The report indicates that the FTC’s three Republican members are in favor of the settlement, while the two Democrats are against it.

With news of the FTC investigation swirling since June, Google has been considering fundamental changes to its video platform to protect children, including moving all children’s content to YouTube Kids, a secondary app with increased moderation, according to Bloomberg. YouTube has also considered disabling the platform’s recommendation feature for children’s programming, according to reports.  This year, YouTube has already removed more than 800,000 videos that violated its child-safety policies.  In February, the FTC levied a $5.7 million fine against TikTok, a video app geared toward teens, for not requiring parental consent before collecting data from users under the age of 13. Such a practice, the FCT decision was in violation of COPPA. 

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