Britain’s information regulator said Wednesday it would look into an official complaint accusing Alphabet Inc’s YouTube of illegally collecting data from millions of children.
The complaint, filed by Duncan McCann, a father of three children who is leading the campaign and supported by his employer, the advocacy group 5Rights, says the video-streaming platform violated the newly enacted law by collecting “location, viewing habits and preferences”. is broken up to 5 million children.
Countries are struggling to strike the right balance with legislation that protects social media users, especially children, from harmful content without harming free speech.
McCann said in a statement that YouTube should change the design of its platform and remove the data it was collecting.
“This is a large-scale, unlicensed, social experiment on our children with uncertain consequences,” McCann said.
A YouTube spokesperson said it has taken steps to enhance child privacy with more protective default settings, and has made investments to protect children and families by launching a dedicated Kids app and introducing new data practices.
“We are committed to continuing our engagement with the ICO on this priority work and with other key stakeholders including children, parents and child protection experts,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.
Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said it would carefully consider the complaint.
“The Kids Code makes clear that children are not like adults online, and their data needs meaningful protections,” Stephen Bonner, the ICO’s deputy commissioner, regulatory supervision, said in a statement.
The UK Children’s Code requires providers to meet 15 design and privacy standards to protect children, including limiting the collection of their location and other personal data.
In 2019, YouTube was fined $170 million by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to settle allegations that it violated federal law by collecting personal information about children.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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