back to article £2.5bn sueball claims Google slurps kids' YouTube browsing habits then sells them on

A campaign group is suing Google for up to £2.5bn over claims that YouTube breaks EU data protection laws by harvesting information about children under 13 – and is hoping to turn it into a UK class-action-style case. Duncan McCann, backed by the Foxglove privacy campaign group and a slew of other organisations, alleges that …

  1. Robert Grant Silver badge

    I mean, come on. If a kid clicks past an agewall on a pornographic site, that isn't suddenly a felony. What evidence do they have that Google knew the children were under 13?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Generally I would agree as it's all too easy to get foamy at the mouth when it comes to these companies. However pornographic sites don't have content aimed at kids under 13. Add to that paying for content for under 13's and selling advertising space on that content it starts getting a bit iffy. Furthermore why is that content not only on you tube kids if it's for kids. This also depends on how they sold that advertising, do they allow advertisers to specifically target kids under 13? It'll be interesting to see the outcome and how much the law firm get to take from google if they win.

      1. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Sure. But kids' tv has always had toy adverts. I don't think that displaying toy ads in between content is somehow new and horrific.

        And the tracking case is hard to understand. How does that work when the child is using a parent's device? Not exactly a clean data set, and youtube kids is there to restrict tracking. From the Youtube Kids privacy policy:

        The app does not allow interest-based advertising or remarketing.

        YouTube Kids does not allow your child to share personal information with third parties or make it publicly available.

        I guess we're going to find out exactly what that means, which is a good thing.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Not exactly a clean data set is not exactly a defence

          "Yes, we are harvesting kid's data but we aren't guilty because we are not very good at it"

      2. Blackjack Silver badge

        This Youtube Kids problem keeps happening because Google is too lazy and greedy to make a separate website only for kids videos.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: did google know?

      Well Duh! Google knows more about us and especially our children than we do. They never forget (unlike us mere mortals).

      Google (and the rest of the scumbags) simply don't care. Everything we do on the internet is $$$$ to them and music to their ears.

      I'm just sad that this is only £2.5B. Why not £100B? the former is loose change to Alphabet. Someone somewhere is going to win big... no make that really big in a lawsuit against the data bloodsuckers. That will cause shockwaves through the (anti)Social Media world. Only then will we even start to see a change in behaviour.

      Just say no to all this data slurping.

  2. EveryTime

    I'm not sure if I consider this lawsuit reasonable.

    But saying that YouTube isn't for kids under 13... that's obviously BS. There is plenty of content targeted to very young kids, and teachers that are requiring kids to watch YT videos for class. (That is a problem at home because we now need to enable YT access during the school day, which leads to a string of distractions.)

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      By your actions shall ye be known.

      Yep, obvious BS is BS. With some possible wriggle room. So plenty of videos get demonetised because they aren't advertiser.. I mean family friendly, or flagged as unsuitable for minors. So seems plenty to incentivise content creators to shoot for that demographic. Just not with firearms, because that kind of content is often demonetised..

      And of course Google knows damn well that the age range it isn't for just happens to be a very valuable demographic for advertisers and nagware.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google is so full of crap

    Trying to claim that YouTube is not for children.

    I read this article:

    https://medium.com/@jamesbridle/something-is-wrong-on-the-internet-c39c471271d2

    And everything that article claims was correct.

    I went down a DEEP rabbit hole looking at the bizarre mind-control videos that were on YouTube produced SPECIFICALLY to target young children and it was very disturbing to say the least.

    Once you typed in a few keywords and watched a couple of strange videos the algorithms kick in and the videos being recommended got weirder and weirder.

    I was shown a video of a middle aged Asian woman sitting at a kitchen table that had a piece of tinfoil in the middle with fake human feces on it.

    And with every repeating color and number song the woman stuck a wooden match into the fake poop.

    The mind-control color/number songs kept repeating until the fake poop was completely full of wooden matches and at the end of the video the woman lit the whole shit on fire.

    More disturbing was the number of views this bizarre video had.

    It had MILLIONS of views!

    There is something very very wrong with YouTube.

    It was like watching some CIA pay-ops mind control techniques.

    Google needs to be sued into oblivion and broken up.

    The same for Facebook for allowing mass surveillance as in the other article on ElReg today.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google accused of breaking the law

    A bit like the UK government then.

    Just like Donny J Trump.

    Laws are so yesterday.

  5. big_D Silver badge

    Oooh, follow-up case...

    Google Ireland Ltd is said to have denied that it is the data controller for YouTube's EU-based users, instead pointing at US parent company Google LLC.

    Oooh, part 2 of the case following in 3...2...1... With Privacy Shield now defunct, that means Google LLC can't be the data controller for EU based user data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oooh, follow-up case...

      Google's EU data controller is a little old lady above a launderette in Luxembourg.

      No, sorry, she's moved.

  6. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    So parents forget to parent, blame someone else. Google even made a kid friendly version for those parents who really must put their kid on youtube (I am not knocking it, its a great distraction) so it is up to the parent to guide their children. Its just like teaching the kid about fire, you dont give them a lighter and let rip. If the parents are concerned about Google's standard service acting like Google's standard service then the parents need to think for a moment and hopefully will see the problem.

    Or it will be Google's fault because Google bad (but still gonna use it).

  7. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Discovery process - let's see what we can get made public

    The people filing the lawsuit could have all KINDS of fun during the 'Discovery' process, where information gets subpoenaed, testimony is deposed, documents are produced, and so forth. Maybe we can find out what's happening behind closed doors that Google doesn't want confirmed... something that could EQUALLY be applied against them in the UK as well as the USA.

    But you know what will happen then - to avoid this from happening, Google will "settle".

    I hope they do NOT! In the USA, matters in a trial, unless the judge orders them "sealed", are MATTERS OF PUBLIC RECORD. I hope that in the UK and the EU this is ALSO the case.

    icon because "think of the children". heh.

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