YouTube Facing Legal Action

Sioux Falls, S.D. – One of the biggest websites on the internet may be facing legal action.

YouTube is being accused of breaking a federal law designed to protect children’s privacy online.

Some fear that the website’s policies allow it to collect data from devices, location, phone number and browsing habits.

Amanda Chaon, a Senior Digital Media Strategist at Click Rain, says YouTube and other sites like it need to be more upfront about their policies involving personal information.

“It’s really important for sites or different platforms to have some sort of an opt-in message to make sure that people understand the privacy and what sort of information they’re giving and if it’s been obtained or not,” says Chaon.

A coalition of more than 20 child advocates and consumer groups plan on filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

The complaint alleges YouTube is in breach of the law because the site features a large variety of videos aimed at children under 13 years-old and allows advertisers to target kids.

“It’s important for all companies to really be aware of what sorts of information they have and how they’re using it,” Chaon tells us.

The YouTube Kids app is a child-friendly version and allows parents to control what their children are watching.

Because most children don’t understand the difference between what is and what is not an ad, YouTube put an ad intro explaining the concept.

“It’s just being cognizant on what you’re kids are doing online.  Just taking a look at what they’re watching, what sorts of sites they’re visiting.  But also, when possible, enabling parental controls and those sorts of things just to make sure they’re one step ahead of what sort of content could be out there,” says Chaon.

The complaint also aims to impose billions of dollars of penalties on Google for allegedly violating children’s online privacy and allowing ads to target them.

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