It’s not just Facebook who has been facing the regulators for their business practices. Google property YouTube has been under investigation by the same Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, by collecting data on children under the age of 13.
The issue has apparently been resolved by a negotiated settlement, that will see parent company Google pay a multi-million dollar fine for the violation. In addition, Bloomberg has reported that, according to unnamed sources, YouTube is planning on ending the placement of targeted ads on videos that are aimed at children.
Video Ads For Children
It is apparently not clear whether this was something required as part of the settlement negotiations, or something that YouTube has offered up in a move to keep regulators appeased.
It’s also not exactly clear on how they intend to do it at all.
It’s estimated that the move could (if “stopping serving ads to kids” is interpreted a certain way), cost them as much as 10% of their total revenue, or around $50 million a year. Of course, it’s also possible that it could be interpreted rather more liberally than that.
Other Video Issues
This isn’t the only issue that has been facing YouTube over childrens videos, with multiple accusations of displaying inappropriate content to children. And while I’m not one for defending Google, I have to say that, to be fair, this is something it is almost entirely impossible for YouTube to regulate.
They only have the users word for who they are and how old they are.
No doubt in some not too far off semi-dystopian future, we will be required to provide verifiable identification to use the internet.