YouTube Ads May Have Led to Online Tracking of Children, Research Says

YouTube Ads May Have Led to the online tracking of Children, Research Says

An startling new study claims that Google has put advertisements for hundreds of firms, including well-known sponsors like Kimberly-Clark, General Motors, and Procter & Gamble, on “designed for kids”.

YouTube videos that may have led to widespread child online surveillance. The analysis by Adalytics, which examines media purchases made on behalf of agencies and brands, examines 313 advertisers’ YouTube advertisements that are placed on “designed for kids” channels as well as the data collecting that occurs after a user clicks on one of the advertisements.

It asserts that “dozens” of significant ad tech companies and data brokers are gathering information from viewers, most likely youngsters who click on such advertisements.

Data from users who watch children’s entertainment on YouTube is treated “as originating from a youngster.” However, Paul Lekas, head of worldwide public policy at the SIIA, states that websites and vendors who might unintentionally or intentionally end up receiving cookies from users.

Who have clicked advertisements on YouTube’s “designed for kids”.

Material would not incur COPPA responsibility. This is so that websites can comply with COPPA’s requirement that they have “actual knowledge”. That the users providing the personal information are minors under the age of 13.

Lekas explained, “In this case, the visitor has arrived from a website that is dedicat to children. But that doesn’t always indicate they are a child. Without the “real knowledge,” I think they wouldn’t be require to comply with COPPA.

According to Cobun Zweifel-Keegan, managing director of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, YouTube’s position. In assisting users to access websites where personal information can be gathere “. Is not within the scope of how COPPA functions right now.”

YouTube Ads May Have Led to Online Tracking

The Adalytics research, which was first carried by The New York Times, also claims that YouTube drops advertising-related cookies on users of kids’ material. With some of its testing revealing the presence of the IDE cookie, which is used to display ads to signed-out users.

YouTube Ads May Have Led to the online tracking of Children, Research Says

Google said that it only ever utilizes these cookies for “non-personalized advertising functions,” such as frequency capping, measurement, and fraud protection. It was add that these cookies do not allow advertising to be identify and cannot be read by a third-party website.

“Cookies are not always a negative thing,” he continued. “It’s the type of information they collect, who they go to, and the purpose for which it’s acquire and used that really counts. 

Google has argued that it prohibits ad targeting. 

To anyone under the age of 18 based on their age, gender, or interests. Adalytics claims that some advertising placed on “designed for kids” YouTube videos incorporate demographic and behavioral targeting. 

Google has debunked the claim that its findings show a COPPA breach and referred to the research as “seriously inaccurate and misleading.” 

It issues a statement saying, “The portions of this report that were given to us didn’t identify a single case of these regulations being violat.”

A Canadian bank called BMO was looking for individuals in Canada to submit credit card applications this year. Thus, the bank’s advertising company launched a YouTube campaign utilizing a Google ad-targeting technology that uses artificial intelligence to identify suitable clients.

YouTube Ads May Have Led to Online Tracking

Yet, Google, which owns YouTube, also displayed the advertisement to a US user on a children’s video with a Barbie theme on the “Kids Diana Show,” a YouTube channel for preschoolers whose videos have amassed over 94 billion views.

YouTube Ads May Have Led to the online tracking of Children, Research Says

According to recent research from Adalytics, a company that evaluates ad campaigns for marketers, when that viewer clicked on the advertisement, it took them to the BMO website, which tagged the user’s browser with tracking software from Google, Meta, Microsoft, and other businesses.

Leading tech firms may have tracked kids throughout the internet as a result. Raising questions about whether they violated a federal privacy statute, the paper stated.

Children’s online services are require by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

COPPA, to acquire parental permission before collecting personal information from users under the age of 13 for uses like ad targeting.

The report’s conclusions give rise to fresh worries about YouTube’s commercialization of kid-friendly material. To resolve complaints from the Federal Trade Commission and the State of New York. The firm had improperly gathered personal information from children watching kids’ channels.

YouTube and Google agreed to pay a record $170 million fine in 2019. According to regulators, using children’s data to target them with advertisements was profitable for the corporation.

Afterwards, YouTube announced that it would stop displaying tailored advertising. On kid-friendly videos and would restrict the collection of viewer data.

YouTube Ads May Have Led to Online Tracking

Two U.S. senators urged the FTC to look into whether Google and YouTube had violated COPPA in a letter. They submitted it to the agency on Thursday, citing Adalytics and information from The New York Times.

Senators Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, and Edward J. Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, expressed concern that the company may have tracked children.

And served them targeted ads without getting permission from parents, enabling “the vast collection and distribution” of children’s data.

The senators stated in their letter that “this behavior by YouTube and Google is project. To have had an impact on hundreds of thousands. If not potentially millions, of children across the United States.”

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