Google has agreed to pay $170 million to settle allegations that YouTube violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by illegally collecting data about children younger than 13 without their parent’s consent, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.
Regulators believe that YouTube “raked in millions of dollars” by tracking kids viewing history and using the data to conspire with brands and advertisers to serve them targeted ads.
In response, Google agreed to the fine — the largest-ever penalty under the Children’s Online Privacy Act.
The tech giant also revised its business practices, so YouTube will require creators to self-identify whether videos they upload are meant for children. Additionally, it will obtain parental consent before collecting personal information about kids and provide its employees with annual training on how to comply with the children’s privacy law.
“We know how important it is to provide children, families and family creators the best experience possible on YouTube and we are committed to getting it right,” Google said in a blog post about the settlement.