COPPA is an Act established in the US to protect the privacy of children under 13. The Act protects children from rapid online marketing targeted toward them. COPPA on YouTube has prohibited the gathering of any information from users under 13 years without prior permission from their parents or guardians.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforced COPPA on YouTube to control information leaks through underage children. Ads marketed for kids will no longer be served alongside videos made for kids. This is primarily because targeted ads acquire personal data from children under 13.

COPPA on YouTube

COPPA on YouTube specifies the following rules and regulations

  1. The marketing sites must acquire parental consent for any personal information from young users. A privacy policy must include when and how to get verifiable permission from a guardian.
  2. The responsibility of the Web operator is to restrict the types and methods of marketing targeted toward children under 13.
  3. FTC has issued guidelines with website operators on the mode of obtaining consent from parents.
  4. Parents have to download forms, complete them, and mail them to the operators
  5. Parents may use a credit card as a way of authenticating age and identity
  6. Parents can reach through a toll-free phone number
  7. An email from the parent that has a digital signature.

All websites that collect information from underage children must abide by COPPA rules. This Act extends to Facebook.com, Myspace.com, Xanga.com, Friendster.com, and other social networking sites.

What’s the story of COPPA on YouTube and its consequences?

  • YouTube has requested creators to specify if their videos are for kids. This is true for new and pre-existing videos and they may also identify the entire channel as kid-oriented.
  • On the videos and channels tagged as “for kids”, YouTube shall no longer collect data on their viewers and target them with ads. If you are posting videos, you can buy YouTube views.
  • However, ads that are contextualized to the video content can be played. You can get more subscribers to increase the rating of your channel.
  • Sections like comments, info cards, and end screens will no longer be functional on “kids” videos. You can enhance your channel from this link.
  • Additional notification bells, community tabs, and stories, will be disabled on kid’s video channels.

COPPA on YouTube

Impact of COPPA on YouTube

Google is the parent company of YouTube and in the regulation tussle between FTC and YouTube, FTC got a settlement from YouTube in September 2019 for 170 million dollars. The penalty for compromising children’s privacy policy was split into two parts $136 million going to the trade commission and $34 million to New York State.

FTC claimed that despite COPPA regulation YouTube crossed several privacy policies. To support this. a recent study showed that 85% of children’s videos showed at least one advertisement. But, the $170 million penalties against YouTube will not make a dent in its deep pockets. In reply, YouTube has brought in several regulations.

New regulations by YouTube

YouTube has brought policy changes for creators and channel owners by following FTC and COPPA regulations.

YouTube has mandated all channel owners to designate an audience for already-published videos and new videos. Channel owners need to designate their videos as “made for kids” or not made for kids. The setting for an audience can be done on a video-by-video basis or o the entire channel. Machine learning and Artificial intelligence will help to identify and classify videos made for kids.

The “made for kids” audience setting restricts certain features otherwise available on YouTube videos and channels. The prominent one is that personalized advertising will no longer be available on videos but conceptualized marketing is permitted under observation. Other features such as autoplay, comments, info cards, end screen, channel branding, and save to playlist and watchlist features are inactivated for the kid’s channel.

Features such as channel membership, notification, posts, personalized ads, notification bell, and stories that will not be available on individual videos, are made for kid’s channels. The content creators are not happy about the privacy policy as they feel that there will be a huge fall in revenue. Some also feel that the guidelines are vague and not well explained. For example, video game channels and non-adult animation. Does this come under ‘made for kids?’

What is kid’s content?

The subject of the video, if children are the audience, whether the video includes child actors. If the video contains characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children. If the language is intended for children. Whether the video includes songs, stories, and poems that appeal to children.

What if creators don’t comply?

The FTC has released the penalty charges amounting to up to $42,350 per mislabeled video.  It would directly fine channel owners who abuse the system. Creators are responsible for the correct labeling of their videos. But you can have more audience from here.

Will these regulations change?

The FTC is currently collecting public opinion on COPPA implementation.  YouTube wants the involvement of parents, creators, and anyone else with a stake in kids’ content to determine their privacy policy.

COPPA with FTC is trying to bring certain regulations for YouTube which may be the need of the hour, but these regulations cannot affect the business for both YouTube and content creators. Hence this needs more discussion before we accept it.

 

Max & Team

Max and his team write tutorials & guides about everything that has to do with social media. TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and co: In the blog of Adfluencer, our influencer marketing agency, you can find super many helpful articles 🙂