Several reports said that Google has decided to pay a fine amount of $150 million to Federal Trade Commission against their investigation in YouTube’s management of children’s data. Both Wall Street Journal and Politico said that the fine amount would be somewhere between $150 million and $200 million. FTC has also agreed to the settlement. However, both FTC and Google have denied commenting anything concerning the news. FTC got into an investigation where they were closely observing YouTube’s habit of gathering data about children below the age of 13. However, such a practice is illegal under Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
The investigation was a part of the increased scrutiny on tech companies by Washington. During previous month, FB had made another settlement with Facebook for $5 million due to certain security breaches made by the social media platform. Besides all this, FTC and Department of Justice have taken up the joint task of keeping a close eye on tech giants like Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook etc.
Few have condemned the process saying the fine amounts finalized by FTC for these giant tech firms are way less for them to learn anything from it and stop the unfair practices. In the last quarter which ended in June, Google has earned total revenue of $38.9 billion. Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal said that FTC should have better made attempts at bringing structural alterations at Google rather than just making them pay penalties.
Google has already launched a different website for continuing with YouTube services for kids. The website provides options for the parents to choose from three different options which content is safe for their children to watch in accordance to their ages. YouTube also seemed determined to filter more contents for the kids and make the platform more user-friendly. Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer at YouTube had said during July that YouTube would always make sure to protect children amidst all their policy decisions and product launches.
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