back to article COPPA load of this FTC complaint: YouTube accused of collecting children's data

Two dozen consumer, digital and privacy rights groups have filed a new complaint with America's Federal Trade Commission, claiming that Google's YouTube service violates the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA requires operators like Alphabet's Google to give parents notice of its data collection. The law …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Another 'Platform' gets caught slurping

    Surprised that they are slurping stuff they shouldn't? I think not.

    Surprised that they got caught? Nah. About time too. After all they give all that 'stuff' out for free. They have to get paid for it somehow. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

    What will happen? This is Google. That means nothing. They will get away with a slap on the wrist at the worst. They have far too much on the people that matter.

    1. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: Another 'Platform' gets caught slurping

      Are we sure we want Google to automatically block Youtube access based on the estimated maturity of the viewer, or the upload?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Another 'Platform' gets caught slurping

        How many of you have a digital cable box? I think they use TCP. that means LOGS, and they know who YOU are. They know what channel you're watching at a given time, so they know what programs you're watching. There's no way in hell that the media companies aren't USING THAT to do their ratings schhtuff. No need for 'Nielson Families' any more. TV isn't over the airwaves, it's being decrypted and therefore (probably) requires you to fetch the temporal keys, so een satellite could be monitoring you.

        And if they CAN, they DO.

        Given that, the privacy of the kids watching disney and cartoon network and nickelodeon and any otehr channel with children's programming knows EXACTLY what commercials and shows they're watching. Don't forget the cable converter boxen that are watching YOU.

        what, don't believe me? Verizon has a PATENT ON IT! (and there are others...)

        "if a user is watching a television program, a traditional targeted advertising system fails to account for what the user is doing"

        " the targeted advertising may be based on one or more ambient actions performed by one or more users of an access device"

        "a user may be presented with targeted advertising in accordance with the user's specific situation and/or actions"

        the document goes further to determine what it is you are doing while the 'media content' is being 'viewed', if you're paying attention, laughing, playing a musical instrument [these are in the document, search, you'll see] and whatnot, then TARGET ADVERTISEMENT based on (literally) the TV SET TOP BOX WATCHING _YOU_ - like a bad Yakov Smirnoff joke. Aside from it sounding like tin-foil-hat material, THIS SCHTUFF IS REAL!

  2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

    Heaven Forbid

    That the parents actually control their kids computer access in their homes.

    1. Daggerchild Silver badge

      Re: Heaven Forbid

      In the future most kids will be home schooled by Alexa, Siri and Google Home anyway.

      "Alexa, teach me what's outside these walls again, and deliver another pizza."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heaven Forbid

      Go back and read the fucking article.

      This is nothing to do with what the kids are watching. If a 5 year old is watching My Little Pony, that is totally suitable for them (well if you want your kids to watch that mush). What is being viewed is not the case here.

      This is about Google knowing, tracking and targeting under 13's which under COPPA is illegal.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Heaven Forbid

        "This is about Google knowing, tracking and targeting under 13's which under COPPA is illegal."

        I dont see the problem. I read the article, but the actual problem seems to "go without saying"

        Whys it illegal?

        are they building profiles on specific people?

        how do they know wether they are under 13?

        are they in trouble even if they dont "target"?

        1. John Lilburne Silver badge

          Re: Heaven Forbid

          "how do they know wether they are under 13?"

          By deduction and common sense. Someone that is watching primarily toy and cartoon vids is more likely to be a child than a 30s something. It doesn't take AI or any advanced algorithms to work that out.

  3. ratfox Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    B, but... I also watch my little poney!

    If I understand correctly, they are accusing YouTube of tracking children, because they show videos for children on the main site, which children are not supposed to watch, and which tracks all users. And the solution is... Removing all content for children from the main site?

    That's an interesting strategy. In this way, you could also argue that Google Search is clearly tracking children, because it tracks all users who access the web, and the web contains a lot of stuff for children. Ultimately, you would not be allowed to track any user at all unless you're a porn site. PH because porn site.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: B, but... I also watch my little poney!

      /me wonders how many perverts watch children's TV.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: B, but... I also watch my little poney!

        "/me wonders how many perverts watch children's TV."

        In the UK in the 70's and 80's, the perverts MADE childrens TV

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: B, but... I also watch my little poney!

      Bronies, doncha just luv em.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonder if Schmidt / Page / Brin shout this at their kids?

    "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." - Google CEO Schmidt on privacy!


    But naturally, none of the same privacy rules apply if you're a Google King:


    "Personal hypocrisy of Schmidt's dismissive stance, noting that, Schmidt blacklisted CNET reporters from Google after the tech news company published an article with information about his salary, neighborhood, hobbies, and political donations -- all obtained from Google searches. "

    "The great totalitarian empires of the last century, the further up the ladder you go, the more raw power you wield, the more raw power you have over this disclosure of your personal information. And the further down the ladder you go, the less power you have."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The rich have no empathy! They encourage their kids to become twisted - all in search of profit:

  5. veti Silver badge

    Personal information

    COPPA only restricts the collection of personal information. There's a list of what qualifies as "personal information", only one item of which is remotely relevant:

    (7) A persistent identifier that can be used to recognize a user over time and across different Web sites or online services. Such persistent identifier includes, but is not limited to, a customer number held in a cookie, an Internet Protocol (IP) address, a processor or device serial number, or unique device identifier;

    So if a cookie is set by YouTube and only ever accessed while the user is on YouTube, they're in the clear - it's not being used "across different Web sites or online services".

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Personal information


      At last some specifics on what this hysteria is about.

      Now given that the average family computer is used by all members of the family , how does a cookie know who's using it?

      How come they dont come to the conclusion "This user likes my little pony in the mornings and newsnight in the eveneings" ?

  6. imanidiot Silver badge

    Gee, what a surprise....

    Or maybe not.

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