The Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General have entered into landmark settlement with Google and YouTube for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

The settlement requires Google and YouTube to pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York, the largest penalty since the law was enacted. The complaint alleges that:

  • YouTube violated the COPPA Rule by collecting personal information—in the form of persistent identifiers that are used to track users across the Internet—from viewers of child-directed channels, without first notifying parents and getting their consent.
  • While YouTube claimed to be a general-audience site, some of YouTube’s individual channels—such as those operated by toy companies—are child-directed and must comply with COPPA.
Per the settlement Google & YouTube are required:
  • to develop, implement, and maintain a system that permits channel owners to identify their child-directed content so that YouTube can ensure it is complying with COPPA.
  • to notify channel owners that their child-directed content may be subject to COPPA and provide annual training for employees who deal with YouTube channel owners.

Details from the FTC.