YOUTUBE GETS FINED. “..knowingly and illegally harvested personal information from children and used it to profit by targeting them with ads” By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading.


YouTube Agrees to $170 Million Fine

Google agreed on Wednesday to pay a record $170 million fine and make changes to protect children’s privacy on YouTube, as regulators said the video site had knowingly and illegally harvested personal information from children and used it to profit by targeting them with ads.

Critics denounced the agreement, dismissing the fine as paltry and the required changes as inadequate for protecting children’s privacy. The penalty and changes were part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and New York’s attorney general, which had accused YouTube of violating the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA. Regulators said that YouTube, which is owned by Google, had illegally gathered children’s data — including identification codes used to track web browsing over time — without their parents’ consent.

The site also marketed itself to advertisers as a top destination for young children, even as it told some advertising firms that they did not have to comply with the children’s privacy law because YouTube did not have viewers under 13. YouTube then made millions of dollars by using the information harvested from children to target them with ads, regulators said.

The government could force real change on the tech industry by mandating they alter their fundamental business operations, including spinning off entire units of their business, as presidential contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has suggested.

But while Wednesday’s settlement also orders YouTube to make certain changes to how it collects data from child-directed content, it does not fundamentally alter its business model, which revolves around targeting ads to viewers and recommending a never-ending stream of content to keep them on the platform. So far, anger toward Big Tech has been billed as one of the few unifying issues of this election cycle.

But when it comes to actual enforcement, there’s still a clear party divide, at least within the FTC. Both the recent Facebook and Google settlements were approved in a 3-2 vote by the FTC commissioners along party lines. In both cases, the two Democratic commissioners opposed the settlements, saying they did not go far enough to curb harmful behavior.

Todd “Bubba” Horwitz


Financial Markets and Political Commentary


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About the author

Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.