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YouTube Facing Lawsuit With Billions In Claim In The UK


The Internet Company Alphabet has to reckon with a lawsuit with monetary claims in the billions. This is triggered by the ongoing processing of user data of minors by the subsidiary YouTube, which is actually subject to special protection.

The lawsuit was filed in the UK by data protection activist Duncan McCann, who is supported by civil rights group Foxglove. In their view, YouTube has systematically disregarded the UK and European data protection laws and collected and analyzed user data from children without having obtained parental consent.

According to a report by the Bloomberg news, the company is withdrawing from the position that YouTube was not created for users under the age of 13. With YouTube Kids, children would also have their own app, which better addresses the special requirements of business relationships and data processing problems.

Claims add up

However, from the activists’ point of view, this offer is more of a fig leaf. It is therefore completely unrealistic to assume that an age clause in the terms of use and an alternative app would prevent children from accessing the general YouTube platform on a large scale. From the plaintiffs’ point of view, Alphabet should have ensured that the data of users and, above all, children were handled more carefully. However, this was deliberately avoided because it would restrict the platform’s business model too much.

If the lawsuit is successful, the group could face compensation claims of 100 to 540 euros per child. Since many of the 5 million children under 13 years of age who live in Great Britain also access YouTube, the demands can quickly run into the billions.

Mark Goodman

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