Google is fined 154 million for collecting data on children without parental permission

According to the accusation, YouTube breached the law by collecting information from users of channels aimed at children.

YouTube, of the Alphabet group that owns Google, has received a fine of 170 million dollars (154 million euros) in the United States for having collected data from children without the express consent of their parents as reported by the Federal Commission on Wednesday of Commerce (FTC), which has approved the penalty by three votes in favor and two against.

Google and YouTube will have to pay 123.5 million euros to the FTC and another 30.9 million euros to New York. The reason is that they have violated the law on the protection of online privacy data for minors. Never since 1998 had such a fine been imposed.

The cookies

"YouTube earned millions using identifiers, popularly known as 'cookies', to serve advertising aimed at visitors to those channels," said the FTC, which has indicated that the law on the protection of children's online privacy specifies that Websites and online services aimed at children should inform about their practices and obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from all children under 13.

"YouTube highlighted its popularity among children to corporate clients," said FTC President Joe Simons. "Even so, when it comes to complying with the privacy law, the company denied that part of its platform was clearly aimed at children. There is no excuse for the violation of the law by YouTube," he added.

In addition to the financial fine, Alphabet must "develop, implement and maintain" a system that allows channel owners to identify their content aimed at children, so YouTube can ensure that it complies with the law.

After the publication of the fine, YouTube has assured in a statement that within four months it will begin to treat the data of anyone who sees a channel aimed at children as if it were a child, regardless of the user's real age. He also stressed that he will stop serving personalized ads on these channels and that some features, such as comments or notifications, will become unavailable.

The four-month period has been decided to give the ‘youtubers’ time for channels with content aimed at children to adapt to the new rules, as YouTube expects to impact their income.

Also, with the aim of "investing in the future of educational quality content for children and families", the Alphabet video platform has committed to invest 100 million dollars (90.7 million euros) in the next three years to create original content for children on your platform.