Information Security seems to be a top priority to governments operating across the world. And there is already enough evidence that they are not in a mood to entertain tech companies which are showing laxity in securing their user data.
One such instance is here where Google has agreed to pay $170 million fine imposed by the data watchdog of the US for sharing YouTube Kids Data.
An official source from Federal Trade Commission(FTC) suggests that an attorney general from New York State has pronounced a recent statement imposing a financial penalty on Alphabet Inc’s subsidiary for sharing data related to YouTube Kids with its partners- sans the consent of the user parents.
“YouTube has shared children’s data to prospective corporate clients and so it is eligible to face a financial penalty”, said Joe Simons, Chairman, FTC.
Simons added in his statement that Google has to change its ways while handling Children’s data related to YouTube Kids and have to showcase kids friendly YouTube Videos.
YouTube has reacted to the legal pronunciation by saying that it will abide by the Federal laws related to Privacy Protection of Kids of 1998.
Susan Wojcicki, the Chief of YouTube said that it will now on limit the data collection when videos related to kids are being watched by users irrespective of their age and gender. At the same time, the company has decided to stop serving personalized content entirely to for safe YouTube for kids and will shut down the comments and notifications section for such YouTube Kids Videos and YouTube Kids accounts on a permanent note.
FTC stated that its penalty received a 3-2 vote from the FTC Commissioner and added that Democrats are urging for tougher penalties.
Note 1- Such kind of violations by tech giants are becoming disconcertingly common these days as companies are seen pledging data security of users. However, no one knows what exactly happens or being practiced behind the doors of the server farms operated by the tech giants.
Note 2– As per the stats available from Stats Counter, among the 2 billion monthly users for YouTube, over 560 million kids are estimated to watch the video streaming service on a monthly note.