Google came to a $170 million settlement with US regulators over allegations that YouTube collected the data of children under the age of 13 without their parents’ consent, violating COPPA privacy laws.

  • The $170 million figure looks like a pitiful number, especially when compared to the billions Google has been fined by European regulators, but experts argue it’s a significant step forward.
  • Dylan Collins, CEO of privacy-focused kids’ firm SuperAwesome, said the settlement finally shows US regulators and Silicon Valley are addressing a major issue – that most of their services were designed for adults and can’t just be tweaked for kids.
  • Collins predicts that the internet will split in two, with Silicon Valley needing to build out an entirely new internet infrastructure that has kids in mind rather than simply filtering their existing services.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Google’s $170 million settlement with FTC regulators may look like a pittance but, critics say, it’s a significant step forward in making the internet a safer place for kids.

Google agreed the settlement with the US regulator and the New York Attorney General over allegations it had collected the data of children under the age of 13 without their parents’ consent through YouTube. That is illegal under US internet laws that protect the privacy of children, known as COPPA.

The fine is just a fraction of the vast figures that European regulators have fined Google. Over the last few years, Europe has fined Google $9.3 billion for various antitrust violations – although Google is appealing those fines. Google previously paid the FTC $22.5 million in 2012 for its use of cookies on Apple’s Safari browser.

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