On August 17, analytics firm Adalytics released a study alleging that Google collects data from children and utilizes targeted ads. In response, Google published a blog post criticizing the report’s accuracy, deeming it “profoundly flawed and ignorant.”
Targeted Ads and Child Privacy Concerns
Adalytics asserts that YouTube is delivering targeted ads to children, using ad trackers within videos and channels labeled as “made for kids.” This practice allegedly violates Google’s 2019 agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, which enforced the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Google’s Counterarguments and Previous Study
Google rebuts the claims, referencing a study by The New York Times that found no evidence of Google and YouTube violating their 2019 FTC agreement. The publication stated that there was no breach of the agreement.
Google’s Adherence to Child Privacy Rules
Google emphasizes its strict adherence to advertising rules for children:
- Treating personal information of all users watching children’s content as children’s personal information.
- Prohibiting third-party trackers in ads for child-oriented content.
- Using cookies for statistics, fraud prevention, and limited ads – not for ad targeting.
- Restricting certain ads near children’s content, including personalized, dating, food and drink, and violent content ads.
Google asserts that Adalytics’ report draws misleading conclusions based on an inaccurate understanding of their privacy practices, while reaffirming their commitment to child and teen protection.
The study by Adalytics raises concerns about Google’s data collection and targeted ads aimed at children, concludes NIXSolutions. Google’s response and adherence to child privacy protection further fuel the ongoing debate in this area.