A US appeals court has recently revived a lawsuit accusing Alphabet's Google and several other companies of violating the privacy of children under age 13 by tracking their YouTube activity without parental consent in order to send them targeted advertising. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle has brought into question Congress' intention to pre-empt state law-based privacy claims by adopting the federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
COPPA gives the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general, but not private plaintiffs, the authority to regulate the online collection of personal data about children under age 13. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that Google and YouTube have violated COPPA by tracking the activities of these children for the purpose of serving them targeted ads. They argue that by doing so, the companies have not only violated the children's privacy rights but also their parents' rights to control the information collected from their children.
The plaintiffs also argue that Google and YouTube have made it difficult for parents to monitor their children's online activities and protect them from potential risks. They allege that the companies have not provided adequate tools for parents to control the data that is collected from their children, which has resulted in the companies collecting more data than necessary and using it for their own benefit.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs argue that Google and YouTube have not taken adequate measures to ensure that the data they collect is secure, and they have not provided sufficient information to parents about the data they collect and how it is used. This has resulted in the companies collecting and using more data than necessary and potentially exploiting children's privacy rights.
The lawsuit filed against Google and YouTube has the potential to set an important precedent for protecting the privacy of children online. It is a reminder for companies that they must adhere to the laws in place and take proper precautions to ensure that children's data is secure and used ethically.