YouTube wants clarification on COPPA
YouTube is asking Federal Trade Comission (FTC) for additional clarifications on how it is supposed to enforce Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) on its content. Last year FTC issued a record-breaking fine of US$170 million for platforms violations of the law.
The institution demanded, that YouTube must properly identify all children among the viewers and exclude them from data gathering algorithms. YouTube gave creators the options to either label the whole channel as child-related, or put specific videos into that category. Monetized uploads for children will not be as profitable as the rest, since creators can’t use Google’s data-based advertising platform - but children-oriented videos without the label will be taken down.
The new feature proved to be very unpopular among the creators, since there is no clear way to separate content for children from everything else. Videos of many popular genres - gaming, family vlogs, arts and crafts, even some tutorials - are watched both by children and by adults. How are they supposed to make the decision about labels in these cases remains unknown. At the moment YouTube suggests that they consult the lawyers about each video.
“Creators of such videos have also conveyed the value of product features that wouldn’t be supported on their content. For example, creators have expressed the value of using comments to get helpful feedback from older viewers. This is why we support allowing platforms to treat adults as adults if there are measures in place to help confirm that the user is an adult viewing kids’ content,” stated the company’s representatives.
Youtube asked FTC to explain what’s to be done with this “ambivolent” type of content and videos that do not intentionally target children. The Commission provided some clarifications in November, but the plattform wants more specific steps.