Friday, the Federal Commerce Commission voted to settle federal privacy claims against YouTube, as first reported by Politico . The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have confirmed the report, saying that the official settlement is likely to be published next week.
On the same day as the poll, YouTube unveiled a new YouTube Kids web portal, along with a set of more discerning content filters. The platform has made a number of policy changes in response to the pending settlement in recent weeks, and in particular introduced an explicit ban on violent or "mature" videos that appear to be marketing to children. The video service has also banned targeted ads on children's videos, making the videos significantly less lucrative for creators and endangering a whole genre of YouTube content.
Now by The Verge YouTube declined to comment on the news. The FTC also declined to comment.
YouTube critics reacted to the bot with dismay and saw it as a slap on the wrist compared to the significant privacy breaches alleged. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), who had long called for an investigation into potential COPPA violations on YouTube, called the fine "a partisan settlement."
"Once again, it looks like this FTC has dropped a powerful company off the hook with a nominal fine for violating user privacy online," Markey said in a statement. "We owe the kids to come down hard on companies which violates children's privacy and violates federal law. "
A number of privacy groups reiterated that sentiment." According to COPPA, the children's privacy law, the FTC had the authority to impose tens of billions of fines against Google, "said the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen." no more than $ 200 million completely fails to protect children's rights. It does not adequately penalize Google or deter Google or other companies from future violations. "
Similar concerns were raised in July when the FTC filed a $ 5 billion fine against Facebook for breaches of Cambridge Analytica and other data breaches. It was the largest FTC fine ever imposed on a tech company, but many Facebook critics found it insufficient compared to Facebook's $ 55 billion annual profit, with a legislature calling the settlement " historically hollow. "
Update 15:05 ET: Updated with confirmations from Bloomberg and WSJ.
Update 3:24 PM ET: Updated with "no comment" from the FTC.