Senator is co-author of Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act


Washington (June 25, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) expressing concern that YouTube has violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Following media reports that the FTC is investigating YouTube for its collection of children’s data, Senator Markey is urging the Commission to include a series of new privacy safeguards that YouTube should implement as part of any potential consent decree stemming from a Commission investigation. These safeguards include deleting all data under Google's control collected from children under 13 (even if that user is now 13 or older), instituting mechanisms to identify on an ongoing basis any YouTube users under 13, and prohibiting Google from launching any new child-directed product or service in the future until the product or service has been reviewed and approved by an independent panel of experts, including child development and privacy experts, to be appointed by the FTC. Senator Markey also called on the FTC to require Google to sponsor a consumer education campaign warning parents that no one under the age of 13 should use YouTube, as well as to establish a fund to produce and amplify noncommercial, quality content for children.


“Companies of all types have strong business incentives to gather and monetize information about children,” writes Senator Markey.“Personal information about a child can be leveraged to hook consumers for years to come, so it is incumbent upon the FTC to enforce federal law and act as a check against the ever increasing appetite for children’s data.” 


A copy of Senator Markey’s letter to the FTC can be found HERE.


In November 2018, Senator Markey asked FTC Chairman Joseph Simons specifically about YouTube’s potential violation of COPPA.