YouTube is considering removing targeted ads from videos aimed at children, according to reports.
FTC chairman Joseph Simmons suggested disabling ads on videos aimed at children last month. Two consumer groups have since pointed out that disabling adverts will not stop the platform from collecting data pertaining to children under 13.
YouTube initially argued that its main platform was not designed to be used by children, and pointed out that it has a separate YouTube Kids app built specifically for children under 13. However, a large amount of content on YouTube's main platform is uncontestably aimed at young children.
A study from Pew Research found that videos designed for children have a huge presence on the main app. It also points out that videos featuring children receive almost three times as many views on average compared to other types of videos.
A move like this could result in millions lost in advertising revenue for not just the company, but its creators too. Both YouTube and the FTC declined to comment on the decision.
YouTube could be facing a fine in the billions if it doesn't address the FTC's concerns effectively. Rising video app TikTok was hit with a $5.7 million fine after violating COPPA last year.
Facebook also received a record-breaking FTC fine of $5bn this year in wake of 2018's Cambridge Analytica scandal. The tech giant's $5bn fine is the largest financial punishment to be issued by the FTC and it is said to reflect the seriousness of Facebook's haphazard approach to data protection. However, a multi-billion dollar fine is barely a slap on the wrist for the company.