COPPA Changes on YouTube


Date: 15 – January– 2019


The US Federal Trade Commission raised some concern regarding compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and as a result YouTube last September announced some changes to its privacy settings to protect children and their privacy.


 After this privacy amendment all YouTube content creators are obliged to specifically mention in YouTube studio, that if a content is designated for kids or not. All analytical data of a video which is designated for kids must be considered as it is coming from a kid regardless of the age of viewers. After this YouTube in November updated its studio setting to assist content creators to choose their content for kids or not.

Now the point is what is made for kids content?

As defined by FTC a YouTube video is treated as made for kids if it has some specific factors. These factors may include the main subject of a video, if a video has a specific emphasis on the kids characters, themes, toys, games and many more.

In order to help out the content creators to decide if the material is made for kids or not, in November, YouTube released a brand new setting for audience. But in the end the creators are well aware with their content and they can decide what their content should be designated as. Apart of this, YouTube has also created a machine system to designate a video content and content creators also are able to change this designation if they disagree with the system generated designation and want to change it. YouTube can only change creator amendment if only they noticed any abusive material or error. 

Data from a video that is designated made for kids whether watched by anyone no matter their age will be treated as coming from a kid. As a result data from such video will have limitations for data collection and use. Which means YouTube will restrict some specific features on videos made for kids. For instant option to add personalized ads will no longer be available for such content. In addition to this some other features for example comments, bell icon used for notification, stories, live chat option, save to playlist and many there will also be disabled for the contents that are decided as made for kids by the creators.  

According to YouTube they put this change to create a more comfortable environment that supports family content as they are one of many channels that has been long creating content for kids.

Creators have so many reservations about this privacy change because it will cut their revenue by restricting add features. But the channels that are already creating content about kids will not completely unable to add advertisements. They are still able to add some non-targeting ads. But the restriction of not adding targeting ads will surely create less revenue for the content channel. It is obvious that channels will create less revenue but not all can be stated with surety as there is not enough data to compare targeted and non-targeted video revenue.