YouTube rolls out major reforms to 'protect' children

  • By ITV News Trainee Fred Dimbleby

YouTube has announced major plans to improve protections for children on the platform - including the end of personalised advertising on content made for young people.

The company, which is owned by Google, settled for £129 million with the United States Federal Trade Commission in September over allegations that it collected personal data from children without the consent of their parents.

The changes mean the company will limit data collection on content designed for children, ending personalised ads, comments and live chats on these videos.

The alterations rely mostly on self-reporting by content creators who have to designate videos as being “made for kids” in the YouTube Studio.

However, YouTube will also use machine learning to identify this type of content.

In a blog post published on Monday, the company said that “responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube, and this includes protecting kids and their privacy".

They advised parents to use YouTube Kids, a smaller app that specifically caters to content for children.

Ads are not personalised by viewer interest on the site.

The company accepted that the changes may impact some creators who make content for children.

They said: “Many creators around the world have created quality kids content for their audiences, and these changes will have significant impact.

“We’re committed to helping creators navigate this new landscape and to supporting our ecosystem of family content.”