Google and its video platform YouTube are paying $ 170 million in fines for illegally collecting personal information from children. This was reported by the US antitrust authority FTC. The payment is therefore part of a settlement between the companies on the one hand and FTC and the New York Attorney General on the other. Denbeiden Internet companies are accused of using so-called cookies to have collected information about users of YouTube children's channels without first obtaining their parents' permission. The aim was therefore to be able to disseminate targeted advertisements on the basis of the data and thus make money.

The FTC spoke of a record sentence. Google posted a profit of just under $ 9.95 billion in the last quarter alone.

In practice, according to the authorities, Google and YouTube violated a law passed in 1998. This prohibited the collection of data from children under the age of 13. In 2013, the law was supplemented by the addition that this rule also applies to cookies. With these, internet sites can track what their users are interested in. New York Attorney General Letitia James accused Google and YouTube of abusing power.

Democrats, the penalty is too low

The investigators specifically targeted YouTube channels from toy manufacturers such as Mattel and Hasbro. There was personalized advertising has been switched and the platform has knowingly accepted that it also data about the YouTube use have been collected by children, is the allegation. The comparison is - as is common in the US - not associated with an admission of guilt.

The two FTC members from the Democratic Party voted against the settlement because he did not go far enough. The Republicans hold but three seats in the authority.