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YouTube is reportedly going to stop serving targeted ads aimed at kids

All it took was an FTC investigation…

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Image: Boing Boing

Here’s a bit of welcome news – YouTube is finalizing plans to end “targeted” advertising aimed at kids. That’s according to some sources that spoke to Bloomberg, who painted a picture of government oversight being the reason for the changes.

See, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking at the company carefully to see if it breached the Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA).

YouTube is finalizing plans to end advertising targeting kids

According to those sources, the FTC has reached a settlement with YouTube. The terms haven’t been released,  possibly because it’s still an open investigation.

This settlement likely won’t please consumer or privacy advocates if released in this current state. That’s because any bans on YouTube advertising are hard to enforce. YouTube apparently can’t tell if violent, Terms-of-Service violating content is uploaded, so how is it supposed to identify content that’s aimed at kids?

  • “Targeted” ads require advertisers to collect information on the viewer. COPPA bars companies from serving those ads to kids under 13 without parental permission.
  • The FTC is expected to levy a multimillion-dollar fine on YouTube for the practice of ad targeting our kids
  • We don’t know if YouTube’s ad changes are due to the settlement

While this is good, it still won’t stop the platform from serving ads to our kids, or from the advertising giant building personalized profiles based on activity. We should demand better for our kids; YouTube, be better.

What do you think? Does YouTube and the FTC need to do more? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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