Dad calls on YouTube to cease collecting 'enormous amount' of children's data

A dad has accused YouTube of harvesting information on children – breaking a privacy code set up to protect them.

The video giant records the location, viewing habits and preferences of up to 5million UK youngsters – yielding ‘an enormous amount’ of personal data, claims campaigner Duncan McCann.

Backed by his employer 5Rights, his official complaint alleges the US-based firm has breached the Information Commissioner’s Office children’s code.

‘Imagine YouTube as an adult stranger following your child “online” with a virtual clipboard, recording everything they do. That is what is happening every day,’ said father-of-three Mr McCann.

He urged YouTube to change its algorithms and delete data from under-13s.

The site’s YouTube Kids service uses protective filters. But Ofcom found many under-13s use its main platform.

‘We expect children’s data to be protected online. If that’s not the case, we’ll take action,’ said the ICO.

YouTube said its measures ‘to protect kids and families’ include a children’s app, new data practices, more protective default settings and a ‘supervised experience’ option.

It added: ‘We remain committed to continuing our engagement with the ICO on this priority work.’

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