A recent complaint in the United Kingdom, according to international media outlets, says Google’s YouTube is monitoring internet signs of children with information, a breach of British privacy rules. The case is estimated to cover more than 5 million British children under the age of 13 and their guardians, demanding compensation in damages of 2 billion pounds. The case was taken to the United Kingdom High Court by the scholar and privacy defender Duncan McCann. Help was offered by professional advocacy group Foxglove.
The complaint alleges that YouTube knowingly breached the privacy laws and data rules of underage users in the UK’s Data Protection Act and the EU’s GDPR. For promotional purposes, the website unlawfully obtained data from millions of children.
Foxglove wrote: “We claim this is unethical because YouTube collects the data of a child accessing the service-including children under the age of 13. They benefit from this data because advertisers pay them to appear on the YouTube platform The expense of targeted ads on the Internet. They did so without the express consent of the parents of the child.”
A YouTube spokeswoman declined to comment on Bloomberg on Monday local time, but said the video sharing site is not appropriate for users under the age of 13.
This is not the first time that Google has been exposed to litigation relating to privacy, however. A $5 billion class-action case was pending in a California court in June of this year. Google was accused of the transparent monitoring of browser preferences by consumers. A class action case costing £ 1bn was reinitiated at the British Court of Appeal in October 2019. The lawsuit claimed that Google was intentionally circumventing the Safari browser’s security settings to identify iPhone users.