YouTube violated federal law by collecting personal information about kids... and now Google will pay for it... The Federal Trade Commission Wednesday said Google - YouTube's parent company - has agreed to a $170 million dollar fine to settle allegations that it tracked viewers of children's channels using cookies without parental consent.
...and for subsequently using that data to deliver millions of dollars in targeted ads to those viewers.
The penalty is the largest since a law that bans collecting information about children under the age of 13 - came into effect in 1998.
According to the government's complaint, YouTube has also touted its popularity with children in marketing itself to companies like Mattel and Hasbro.
It told Mattel that "YouTube is today's leader in reaching children age 6-11 against top TV channels," according to the complaint.
Critics say Wednesday's fine is just a slap on the wrist for the internet giant since no executives at YouTube or its parent, Google, were penalized.
And YouTube neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
The fine comes as big tech companies are facing growing backlash over a slew of privacy violations... including Facebook which reached a $5B settlement with the F.T.C.
In July over the social network's handling of users' data.