The Federal Trade Commission is said to be investigating YouTube’s data collection practices and failure to protect children, according to a report of the Wahsington post.
The investigation is reported to be in its late stages and was brought about after complaints from consumer groups and privacy advocates. The investigation also follows numerous reports and investigations from publications over the last several months demonstrating how YouTube’s autoplay and recommendation feature allows predators to take advantage of content on the platform featuring children.
Policy makers have started to respond to the investigation. Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) called the investigation into YouTube’s treatment of children online overdue, in a press release issued today, adding that the company has yet to take the necessary steps to protect its youngest users.
Both YouTube and Google executives, including respective CEOs Susan Wojcicki and Sundar Pichai, have accelerated trying to find a solution to the growing issue. The company decided to close comments on the majority of videos starring children in February as a way to prevent predatory comments from spreading. The company has also prohibited minors from live streaming without an adult in the room.
Wojcicki and Pichai appear to be looking into stronger measures to solve the problem, according to multiple reports over the last week, including two investigations from Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. One possible solution, according to the Journal, is to move all kids content over to YouTube’s standalone app, YouTube Kids.