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Little Timmy vs. Google Spies

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

children are spending more time online

Story at-a-glance -

  • Google must pay a record $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York attorney general, which claim YouTube collected children’s personal information without parents’ consent
  • A study by Ofcom, the U.K.’s communications regulator, revealed that YouTube was the most popular platform among children
  • While collecting information, YouTube is able to tailor content directly to your child, presenting an irresistible stream of digital content that children have a hard time turning off
  • Apps like YouTube collect data, such as the number of “likes,” and use it to select content your children may be interested in; the content is then played automatically, one video after another
  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), in its draft Age Appropriate Design Code, is considering 16 standards that would help to protect children’s online privacy
  • Under the Code, “nudge techniques” that encourage children to provide personal data, lessen privacy settings or keep using the app longer could not be used

Children are spending an alarming amount of time watching media on various screens and devices, but among them, Google-owned YouTube is emerging as one of the biggest threats to their well-being.

In fact, Google must pay a record $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York attorney general, which claim YouTube collected children’s personal information without parents’ consent. Broken down, Google will pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York.


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