YouTube under FTC investigation for failure to protect children

YouTube under FTC investigation for failure to protect children

YouTube is reportedly under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) following allegations that the platform has violated children's privacy.

The Washington Post reports that the FTC kickstarted the investigation after multiple complaints were filed by various corporate watchdogs and consumer groups.

These complaints accuse YouTube of violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This law stops companies collecting data on users under 13 years old. 

Senator for Massachusetts, Edward Markey, has also responded to the case, stating in a press release that "an FTC investigation into YouTube’s treatment of children online is long overdue". 

“It is no secret that kids flock to YouTube every day, but the company has yet to take the necessary steps to protect its youngest users. I am pleased to see reports that the FTC is working to hold YouTube accountable for its actions."

YouTube isn't the first platform to face scrutiny from the FTC - rising video app TikTok was hit with a record-breaking $5.7 million fine after violating COPPA last year. 

Earlier this year, YouTube parent company Google terminated over 400 channels in light of action that saw children being targeted and exploited via the platform. Videos were discovered with hundreds of predatory comments, leading YouTube to consider demonetising content with inappropriate comments.


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.


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