Google agreed on Wednesday to pay a record $170 million fine and make changes to protect children’s privacy on YouTube.
Regulators said the video site had knowingly and illegally harvested personal information from children and used it to profit by targeting them with ads, the New York Times reported.
Critics felt the fine amount didn't do justice and called for better protecting children’s privacy.
This entire incident is part of a case which 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.
New Times stated: "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.
"To settle the charges, YouTube agreed to the $170 million penalty, with $136 million going to the trade commission and $34 million to New York State. It is the largest civil penalty ever obtained by the commission in a children’s privacy case, dwarfing the previous record fine of $5.7 million against the owner of the social video-sharing app TikTok this year."