Google received an $170 million fine over YouTube child privacy violations Wednesday. It came as news emerged that over half of U.S. state attorneys general are preparing to investigate the company for antitrust violations.
Google Hit With Record Fine
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced an $170 million fine for Google, the largest fine issued under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (via The Verge). The FTC said that Google marketed YouTube to advertisters knowing many channels are watched by younger children. It also alleged that the company tracked the viewing history of these younger viewers for advertising purposes.
Commenting on the fine, FTC Chairman Joe Simons said:
YouTube touted its popularity with children to prospective corporate clients. Yet when it came to complying with COPPA, the company refused to acknowledge that portions of its platform were clearly directed to kids. There’s no excuse for YouTube’s violations of the law.
State Officials Turn on Big Tech
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the attorneys general are set to announce their antitrust investigation next week. It is unknown at the time of this writing if they will later focus on other big tech firms.