One of top tech watchdogs in Congress, Sen. Ed Markey, is asking that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) oblige YouTube to make sweeping policy modifications. This follows after reports that the organization is concluding up a probe into how the service manages kids’ experiences and data.
Markey authored the rule on how services must treat kids’ info, allowed the COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). Normally, COPPA makes it illegal for services such as YouTube and Facebook to gather the info of consumers below the age of 13. In his letter, Markey states about his worries that YouTube is not obeying with these rules.
“I am worried that YouTube has failed to obey COPPA,” Markey wrote to the FTC. “I, hence, advise the Commission to employ all essential resources to probe YouTube, ask that Youtube pay all financial fines it owes due to legal breaches, and command YouTube to institute policy modifications that put kids’ wellbeing first.”
The letter summarizes a few modifications that the service can implement, comprising obliging Google to stop gathering any info from kids below 13, kicking kids off the service completely until it obeys with the laws, and banning influencer marketing targeted at kids. Markey even describes Ryan’s Toy Review, one of the most well-liked toy review channels on YouTube, which has more than 19 Million followers. If accepted, those modifications can dramatically disturb ad ecosystem of YouTube.
On a related note, a popular YouTube personality recognized as Etika who made Nintendo-based videos, Desmond Amofah, was found dead, the NYPD claimed to the media this week. The NYPD had been looking for Amofah since last week after he went missing and after posting a video talking about suicidal thoughts. The NYPD first verified disappearance of Amofah as a case of missing person last week.