The Next Data Scandal In The Making

The biggest takeaway from the Facebook data scandal isn't realizing how much Facebook knows about us -- it's how pervasive the data collection is and how it's packaged and used by those that pay Facebook's price for that information. 

Most still don't even know that Facebook still collects information on us in 70 different categories. Theoretically they won't play as fast and loose with the information as they once had (they've cut ties with several data brokers within the past two weeks) but the info is still there. While we'll wait to see what comes out of Zuckerberg's trip to Congress this week - the next shoes might be about to drop.  

Facebook and Google are the world's top two sellers of personal info in the world. That means that like Facebook, Google packages up data and sells it. Also, like Facebook, there's a good chance we'd be shocked by the depth of data collected and sold by Google - including that of its other properties like YouTube. 

That's where this story takes a turn. 

Twenty consumer advocacy groups filed a complaint yesterday to the FTC over Google's YouTube policies. Under federal law parental approval is required for any online data collection on children under 13. According to online analytics firm Trendera Research 45% of children between the ages of 8 to 12 have YouTube accounts - commonly without parental consent. 

The proliferation of YouTube channels, with many focused-on content aimed at kids that age, have led to rapid growth with children on the platform. We're all aware of how dangerous info in the hands of the wrong people online can be. Especially when it's our children. 

The suit alleges 23 million children in the US have had illegal data collected on them by YouTube. How was/is that data used? Where does it go from here? What's next?  

We're likely still just in the infancy of the online data scandal but the next stop appears to be Google. I'll keep you posted.

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