The allegations suggested that the tech giant earned millions for illegally collecting the personal information of children without their parents permission.
Announced Wednesday, the settlement requires Google and YouTube to pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to the state of New York for their reported violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
The $136 million fine is the largest amount ever imparted by the FTC in a COPPA Case since Congress passed the law in 1998, the agency said.
Google has agreed to pay a record $170 million to settle claims made by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that it violated child privacy laws
The measure was passed in a 3-2 vote by the commissioners, who voted along party lines.
‘YouTube touted its popularity with children to prospective corporate clients,’ wrote FTC Chairman Joe Simons, who voted in favor of the settlement, as reported by
‘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.’
Under the COPPA law, child-focused sites must disclose their data practices and obtain parental consent for collecting information on children aged 13 or younger.
In the complaint filed by the FTC and New York Attorney General, YouTube is said to have collected personal information from ‘viewers of children-directed channels’ without parental consent using cookies, which keep track of online behavioral habits.
The ruling also found that YouTube touted itself to Mattel and Hasbro as the global ‘leader’ for being able to access children aged 6-11.
However, in contradiction, YouTube officials told one advertising company it didn’t have users younger than 13 on its platform and therefore didn’t have to comply with COPPA rule.
As well as the heft penalty, both YouTube and its parent company Google will be required to ‘develop, implement, and maintain a system that permits channel owners to identify their child- directed content on the YouTube platform,’ to better comply with COPPA.