Hot on the heels of Facebook’s privacy scandal, it looks like YouTube could be facing a similar issue themselves. According to a complaint filed by children protection groups, they have accused YouTube of illegally collecting data on children.

This is based on how despite YouTube having rules that only allow users aged 13 and up to use its service, there are those who are younger who use the service and the group claims that YouTube knows this. This means that personal information such as location, device identifiers, phone numbers, and such are being collected on those under the age of 13 which makes it illegal unless the parents have given their consent.

According to the group, “For years, Google has abdicated its responsibility to kids and families by disingenuously claiming YouTube — a site rife with popular cartoons, nursery rhymes, and toy ads — is not for children under 13. Google profits immensely by delivering ads to kids and must comply with Coppa. It’s time for the FTC to hold Google accountable for its illegal data collection and advertising practices.”

YouTube has since responded to the complaint in a statement that reads, “While we haven’t received the complaint, protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us. We 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.”

Filed in General. Read more about Privacy and YouTube.

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