Tech & Science Consumer groups seek probe of YouTube over ads for kids

02:03  10 april  2018
02:03  10 april  2018 Source:   Relaxnews (AFP)

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Consumer and activist groups called Monday for an investigation into Google-owned YouTube for allowing advertising to be targeted at children in apparent violation of US law. The organizations said that although YouTube claims that the site is only for users 13 and up

While it’s a safe bet the littl’uns have been happily playing about on YouTube Kids , a number of U.S. consumer groups have evidently been less impressed. At least eight organizations, among them the Center for Digital Democracy, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood

© Provided by AFPRelaxNews "Youtube Kids" Android app. Consumer and activist groups called Monday for an investigation into Google-owned YouTube for allowing advertising to be targeted at children in apparent violation of US law.

The organizations said that although YouTube claims that the site is only for users 13 and up, Google generates significant profits from kid-targeted advertising on the video-sharing service.

Twenty-three organizations signed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), arguing that YouTube is among the most popular online platforms for children and offers many programs designed and promoted for children.

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Over -the-counter cryptocurrency market moves over 0 million daily via messaging apps. Moreover, specific reference will be given to key ads the consortium argues goes against Google’s own policies. In the Internet giant’s YouTube Kids advertising policy, it bans a slew of categories

According to the complaint, Google collects personal information about minors on YouTube, including location, unique device identifiers and mobile telephone numbers, and uses that to target advertisements to kids across the internet, apparently without their parents' consent.

It noted that YouTube contains child-oriented channels such as ChuChu TV Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs, with millions of subscribers, and that advertisers pay Google a premium to place their ads on a "parenting and family" lineup including channels aimed at children.

"For years, Google has abdicated its responsibility to kids and families by disingenuously claiming YouTube -- a site rife with popular cartoons, nursery rhymes and toy ads -- is not for children under 13," said Josh Golin of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, one of the groups filing the complaint.

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A group of consumers and children advocacy organizations plans to send a letter to the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday, urging it to investigate the YouTube Kids app for allegedly exposing children to commercials that should not be permitted to be shown to young

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Golin added: "Google profits immensely by delivering ads to kids and must comply with COPPA," the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

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Consumer groups argue that YouTube Kids blurs the lines between programming and advertising . The groups also argue that YouTube Kids promotes user-generated "And even when children can recognize the difference between ads and programming, they cannot understand

SEEK . Carsales. IT’S being promoted as a ‘safer’ place for kids to explore the internet, but YouTube ’s new app has been slammed over excessive ads and product placements. Consumer advocates have complained about Google’s advertising -filled YouTube Kids app.Source:Supplied.

Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, another group signing the complaint, said that Google "has acted duplicitously by falsely claiming in its terms of service that YouTube is only for those who are age 13 or older, while it deliberately lured young people into an ad-filled digital playground."

Contacted by AFP, a Google spokesman said the company had not seen the complaint but that "protecting kids and families has always been a top priority for us."

The spokesman added in a statement, "Because YouTube is not for children, we've invested significantly in the creation of the YouTube Kids app to offer an alternative specifically designed for children."

Other groups signing the FTC complaint included Common Sense, Consumer Action, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

COPPA, passed by Congress in 1998, restricts websites' handling of data and advertising for children.

Several website operators have faced fines for violations, including Yelp and a unit of the Walt Disney Co.

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