Children and consumer advocacy groups are claiming YouTube violates children’s online privacy and monetize their data.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and a Georgetown University law clinic are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google for allowing ads to target children.
According to the complaint, Google and YouTube profit from selling ads to kid-oriented videos, which violates a 1998 federal law, which prohibits internet-based companies from collecting data from children under 13 years of age without their parents’ consent.
THR reports YouTube responded by e-mail, stating the company “will read the complaint thoroughly and evaluate if there are things we can do to improve.”
“Because YouTube is not for children, we've invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative specifically designed for children,” the statement reads.
This alternative focuses on the fact that YouTube’s terms of service tell people under 13 to “please do not use the service.”
It’s not know if the FTC will take action, but the agency looks forward to reviewing the letter, according to spokeswoman Juliana Gruenwald Henderson.