A US senator and a pair of consumer privacy groups sent letters to the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday expressing concern over YouTube‘s practices around kids content and calling on the agency to take action against the Google-owned video site for any wrongdoing.
Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusets, urged the FTC to “hold YouTube accountable for any illegal activity affecting children that the company may have committed.” This follows a June 19 report that for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
COPPA passed in 1998 and includes guidelines prohibiting the collection of data on children under 13 without parental consent. Last year, a coalition of child advocacy, privacy and consumer groups filed a complaint with the FTC that .
“Personal information about a child can be leveraged to hook consumers for years to come,” Markey wrote in the Tuesday letter. “It is incumbent upon the FTC to enforce federal law and act as a check against the ever-increasing appetite for children’s data.” Markey pointed out that YouTube channels directed toward kids have millions of subscribers.
Also on Tuesday, the Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood sent a letter to the FTC with a list of recommended penalties, including the deletion of user data on all children, civil penalties and “a $100 million fund to be used to support the production of noncommercial, high-quality and diverse content for children.”
Neither Google nor the FTC immediately responded to requests for comment.