After Huge $170 Million Fine, YouTube Music Puts Limits on ‘Made for Kids’ Content

YouTube Music Kids
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YouTube Music Kids
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Photo Credit: YouTube Music

In September 2019, Google was hit with a massive $170 million fine for violating child privacy laws. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) successfully argued that Google had illegally harvested personal information from kids and used it to target advertising at them on YouTube. This caused a lot of controversy, with many critics deriding the fine as “too light” based on the scope of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) violation.

Google also attracted attention from the New York attorney general, who accused the company of violating COPPA by advertising itself as a top destination to advertise to young children. Google even told some advertising firms that they did not have to comply with COPPA because they did not have viewers under 13.

The $170 million fine the FTC issued to Google dwarfs the $5.7 million fine TikTok received earlier this year. The changes to YouTube and YouTube Music are a direct result of that judgment. YouTube agreed to create a system to ask video channel owners to identify children’s content. This system is intended to keep ads targeting kids from appearing on the content they consume. Regulators also require YouTube to obtain consent from parents before collecting or sharing personal details like a child’s name or photos.

These changes may have negatively affected ‘Made for Kids’ content that appears on YouTube Music. For example, Disney tracks are all marked as for kids, which limits features. These songs can’t be accessed using the app’s mini-player, and like/dislike buttons are removed entirely. Additionally, any ‘Made for Kids’ content on YouTube Music cannot be added to playlists.

For now, these changes are reserved for the YouTube Music mobile app on iOS and Android. The same restrictions aren’t on the desktop version. Some of these restrictions are there to comply with COPPA guidelines. However, not being able to add any ‘Made for Kids’ content to playlists might be a deal-breaker for some.

The changes that Google has made to YouTube Music are significant and are aimed at protecting children’s privacy. However, it remains to be seen whether these changes will be enough to satisfy regulators and parents. Some critics argue that Google still hasn’t gone far enough and that more needs to be done to protect children’s privacy on YouTube.

Despite the controversy surrounding YouTube and YouTube Music, the platform remains hugely popular with children and young people. It is a top destination for entertainment and educational content, and many parents rely on it to keep their kids entertained. As such, it is essential that Google takes the necessary steps to protect children’s privacy and ensure that the content they consume is appropriate for their age.

In conclusion, the changes that Google has made to YouTube and YouTube Music are a step in the right direction. However, more needs to be done to protect children’s privacy and ensure that they are not targeted with inappropriate advertising. Parents should be vigilant when it comes to their children’s online activity and take steps to protect their privacy. Meanwhile, regulators should continue to keep a close eye on Google and other tech companies to ensure that they are complying with COPPA guidelines and taking children’s privacy seriously.

2 Responses

  1. Johnny

    Nice people at Google!! Google makes more money than me from MY MUSIC and obviously they think this is fair! Thousands of my songs uploaded to Youtube without my permission and then all the advertising revenues going to everybody except the person who spent months/years writing and recording this music. And they think I am okay with this arrangement ?? Whoever agreed to allow this blatant rip off needs to be put in jail! And then you wonder why music revenues are down 70% and all the Pro musicians are having to quit the business and get day jobs. But the fans seem to think that hobbyist musicians are as good as the Pros! And sadly the Record companies know that they can market and promote any old crap and the fans will buy it if they hear it often enough! Great era for music! Big thanks to Google for all their efforts in helping destroy what was once a healthy and prosperous music business! And now I am supposed to spend hours sending in DMCA take down notices when I should be focused on writing new songs!!! Hey, I wrote Paul McCartney’s favorite song but I am another casualty of this new music business where it seems everybody is making money except the people who make the music!

    • Anonymous

      No one knows who you are Johnny lol
      But apparently you sound like a recording executive who’d ones not like youtube for cocaine related reasons lol