US consumer protection agency the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allegedly wants YouTube to curtail its ad business to protect the millions of children that access the site each day.
It’s no secret that younger generations love YouTube, which has now replaced television for many children.
But this popularity has also brought with it problems for the Google-owned video player.
Of particular concern is data being collected from often unaware children.
According to Bloomberg, the FTC wants YouTube to disable ads on individual channels to bring the platform into line with the US’s ban on collecting information on children under the age of 13 without parental permission.
YouTube is currently being investigated by the FTC for potential violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
Bloomberg reported the suggestion was made during a “high-level call” between the FTC and children’s advocacy groups the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy.
“The groups have pushed commissioners to embrace a range of fixes, from record fines to requiring the company to move all kids’ content to another platform where it would be harder to monetise,” reported Bloomberg.
A letter to the FTC from the two groups earlier this month also stated that it is unclear whether “turning off interest-based advertising actually stops the data collection and tracking of the child”.
“We are concerned about any remedy that would allow children’s content to remain on the main YouTube site and shift the burden of responsibility to content creators to opt out of ‘interest-based’ advertising,” the letter said.
It had previously been reported YouTube was weighing up moving all children’s content to a separate platform.
However, this presented obvious challenges around defining what constitutes children’s content online.