WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Google, which is owned by Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), and its YouTube video service will pay $170 million to settle allegations that it broke federal law by collecting personal information about children, the Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.
YouTube had been accused of tracking viewers of children’s channels using cookies without parental consent and using those cookies to target million of dollars in advertisements to those viewers.
The settlement with the FTC and the New York attorney general’s office, which will receive $34 million, is the largest since a law banning collecting information about children under age 13 came into effect in 1998. The law was revised in 2013 to include “cookies,” used to track a person’s internet viewing habits.
Google is using an opaque system to “leak” personal information about its users to outside companies, according to new research by rival web browser Brave.
Brave’s chief policy officer Johnny Ryan on Wednesday accused Google of violating European privacy laws and its own policies with a “workaround” that allows the tech giant to share identifying information about its users with other companies for advertising purposes.
Ryan offered the research as “evidence” for Ireland’s data privacy watchdog, which is currently investigating whether Google is violating European law.
“The evidence we have submitted to the Irish Data Protection Commission proves that Google leaked my protected data to an unknown number of companies,” Ryan said in a statement. “One cannot know what these companies then did with it, because Google loses control over my data once it was sent. Its policies are no protection.”
Sept 3 (Reuters) – More than 30 U.S. state attorneys general are readying an investigation into Alphabet Inc’s Google for potential antitrust violations, a source knowledgeable about the probe said on Tuesday.
Texas leads the group of 30-plus attorneys general, which plans to announce the probe on Sept. 9, the source said.
Google said that it was cooperating with the state officials.
“We continue to work constructively with regulators, including attorneys general, in answering questions about our business and the dynamic technology sector,” Google representative Jose Castaneda said.
The probe is focused on the intersection of privacy and antitrust, according to the source, who did not elaborate.