Skip navigation. The news conference was also webcast; view archival video here. In a complaint filed against the companies , the FTC and New York Attorney General allege that YouTube violated the COPPA Rule by collecting personal information—in the form of persistent identifiers that are used to track users across the Internet—from viewers of child-directed channels, without first notifying parents and getting their consent. YouTube earned millions of dollars by using the identifiers, commonly known as cookies, to deliver targeted ads to viewers of these channels, according to the complaint. In addition, third parties, such as advertising networks, are also subject to COPPA where they have actual knowledge they are collecting personal information directly from users of child-directed websites and online services. According to the complaint, eligible channel owners can choose to monetize their channel by allowing YouTube to serve behaviorally targeted advertisements, which generates revenue for both the channel owners and YouTube. The complaint notes that the defendants knew that the YouTube platform had numerous child-directed channels. Despite this knowledge of channels directed to children on the YouTube platform, YouTube served targeted advertisements on these channels. According to the complaint, it even told one advertising company that it did not have users younger than 13 on its platform and therefore channels on its platform did not need to comply with COPPA. In addition to the monetary penalty, the proposed settlement requires Google and YouTube to develop, implement, and maintain a system that permits channel owners to identify their child-directed content on the YouTube platform so that YouTube can ensure it is complying with COPPA.
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