Alphabet Inc’s Google and its video service platform YouTube have been fined an amount of $170 million to settle allegation that being involved in practice of gathering the personal information of the children on its platform, it violated a federal law, the Federal Trade Commission said earlier in this month.
YouTube, without getting the consent of parents, remained using cookies to track viewers of children’s channel and further made use of those cookies in generation of millions of dollars through targeted advertisement to those viewers.
From the amount of $170 million, an amount of $34 million will be received by the New York attorney general’s office while remaining will be paid to the FTC. The amount is highest ever since introduction of the law in 1998 which bans collection of information about children under the age of 13, while a revision in the law was made in 2013 to include “cookies”, a tool used by the websites to track internet viewing habits of a person.
The settlement amount is still a fraction of the company’s revenue as 85% of the total revenue of Alphabet came from the sales of ad technology and ad space, and in second-quarter this year results, published in July, company reported total revenue of $38.9 billion.
In a statement after the decision, YouTube said that it will start counting all data, so gathered from people watching children’s content, toward the data containing the information about children. This will result in limiting data collection and will use that collected data to smoothly run the operation of the service with videos made only ofr the kids, said YouTube in its blog post.
Just to keep making dollars from advertising, Google and YouTube intentionally and illegally tracked, monitored and then served the young children with targeted ads, said New York Attorney General Letitia James, adding that the companies made misuse of their influential market power.