YouTube updates privacy settings for children on its platform

Protecting kids' privacy on YouTube

In late 2019, YouTube announced a series of changes to better protect children’s privacy on YouTube and address concerns raised by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). We want to ensure parents have the necessary information to help their children have a safer and happier digital experience.

What are the changes YouTube announced?

YouTube now treats personal information from anyone watching children’s content on the platform as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user.
The following are features not available on content made for kids:

  • YouTube creators will be required to decide whether their content is made for kids or not. Data from anyone watching a video specifically made for kids will be treated as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user
  • Personalised ads have been removed on content that is made for kids on their ‘watch’ page. However, ads will be shown based on the context of the video but less personalised
  • Monetised features have been removed like Super Chat or the Merch Shelf – which requires user information
  • Comments, live chat, notifications and playlisting have been turned off
  • Mini player is no longer available

Further updated features can found by visiting the YouTube Help Centre.

When does this come into effect?

Some of these features were enforced late last year, but as of 6 Jan 2020, all changes have been rolled out.

What is ‘made for kids’ content?

In YouTube’s blog, they mentioned: ‘According to the FTC, a video is made for kids if it is intended for kids, taking into consideration a variety of factors. These factors include the subject matter of the video, whether the video has an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys or games, and more.’

YouTube’s commitment to creating a safer and happier experience for children and families

As previously mentioned, YouTube creators will need to choose their audience setting whenever they create a video, but also YouTube will use machine learning to help identify this type of content. YouTube creators can also update an assigned audience setting made by YouTube’s systems if they believe it is incorrect; YouTube will only override a creator designation if abuse or error is detected.

YouTube’s continued investment in YouTube Kids

YouTube says: ‘We still recommend parents use YouTube Kids if they plan to allow kids under 13 to watch independently […] We also continue to improve the product. For example, we recently launched signed-in support for YouTube Kids on the web and connected devices — such as smart TVs — so parents can now access and control their child’s YouTube Kids experience across even more surfaces.’

App guides document

Learn more about YouTube kids App and how you can use the safety feature to give children the best experience

See guide

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