Is Google collecting your child’s information while browsing YouTube?

YouTube is fast becoming the most popular online platform for children, used by about 80% of children aged six to 12 years old; that’s 4 out of every 5 children!  Where once we used Google to search for ideas, now our children use Youtube as their first go-to place for information, from building a volcano to making slime.

Google has a dedicated channel for children called YouTube Kids and an app for iOS and android that is designed to show appropriate content and ads to children. It also recently took action to hire thousands of moderators to review content on the wider YouTube.

Amongst the most popular channels on YouTube are those directed at children, including ChuChuTV Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs with 15.9m subscribers and more than 10 billion video views and LittleBabyBum with 14.6m subscribers and 14 billion views.

Before each video starts, you’ll see a short advertisement where major advertisers pay a premium to place ads.  A representative from the Consumers’ Union, said: “YouTube knows children are watching content on their site, and has created content channels specifically aimed at them, but does not appear to obtain the required parental consent before collecting information about them.”  The group claims that “Google is able to collect personal information on children under 13 such as location, device identifiers, and tracks them across different websites and services without first gaining parental consent.”

So what information is Google collecting?

Within the Privacy Notice in YouTube Kids, it is stated:

So think twice before handing over that phone or tablet to entertain your child with video content.  If you’re using YouTube, we urge parents strongly to download the YouTube Kids app AND to take a few minutes to make informed choices about what content you will allow your kids to access and how to protect their privacy.

Please refer to information on how to set up and control Parental Settings, including how to Manage Account Access, Setting Home Screen Age Level and Setting Timers.

Sources for this article:

The Guardian UK Monday 9th April, 2018,

YouTube Parental Guide

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