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YouTube faces litigation over UK children’s privacy

YouTube faces litigation over alleged breaches of privacy and data rights of under 13s in the UK.

A lawsuit filed in the High Court against parent company Google accuses the company of collecting children̵

7;s data without parental consent.

Data protection expert Duncan McCann, who is filing the lawsuit, argues it is a violation of UK and European (EU) law.

A YouTube spokesperson said he does not comment on pending litigation and the platform is not suitable for children under the age of 13.

Mr McCann, father of three children under 13, believes that if the case were successful, damages could be paid between £ 100 and £ 500 in damages to those whose data has been breached.

“When the Internet first appeared, we were concerned about how children use the Internet,” McCann said.

“It’s still a problem, but now it’s a one-way street. We need to focus on how the internet uses our children and ask ourselves if we are happy with them becoming a product for these digital platforms?”

“This is the future that I don’t want,” he added.

He told the BBC that the class action lawsuit was the first in Europe to be brought on behalf of children against a technology company. He says that estimated damages in excess of £ 2 billion will be sought for approximately five million UK children and their parents or guardians.

He will argue that YouTube and Google have violated UK data protection law and general EU data protection regulations.

The case will focus on children who have watched YouTube since May 2018 when the new data protection law went into effect.

“I think we are at the stage where we can only hold these companies accountable through legal process,” said McCann.

A YouTube spokesperson said: “We do not comment on any pending litigation. YouTube is not suitable for children under the age of 13.

“We launched the YouTube Kids app as a special destination for children and made other changes that will allow us to better protect children and families on YouTube,” they added.

The video platform has also previously stated that it will not sell its users’ personal information to advertising companies.

The fall is not expected until next fall.

Mr McCann also told the BBC that this would also depend on the outcome of another data and privacy trial against Google.

The campaign group Foxglove and the law firm Hausfeld have also announced their support for Mr McCann’s case.

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