Duncan McCann has brought forward a multibillion-pound representative claim against Google for collecting 5 million children’s data on Youtube without their parent’s consent.
This breaches the privacy laws of the UK Data Protection Act and EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) both of which were formed to protect citizens’ personal data on the internet.
As per UK media regulator Ofcom, 75% of children between the age of 5-15 watch Youtube, while 50% of children aged 3-4 use the video streaming service. The case follows a successful action against YouTube in the United States for collecting data in the form of cookies.
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Duncan McCann said: “My kids love YouTube, and I want them to be able to use it. But YouTube needs to comply with the law. It isn’t ‘free’ – our kids are paying for it with their attention and private data. Like many parents, I am conscious of what’s happening with my kids’ data online, but even so it’s just impossible to combat Google’s lure and influence, which comes from its surveillance power. There’s a massive power imbalance between us and them, and it needs to be fixed.”
Leading the litigation, Lesley Hannah who is a partner at Hausfeld & Co LLP, spoke: “Privacy and data protection laws are there to protect everyone; not least children, who, unquestionably, deserve a higher level of protection. Yet, YouTube operates in a way that breaks those laws. Google needs to be held to account and pay compensation to all families who use YouTube in England and Wales. Schools, charities and millions of small businesses have to comply with data protection laws and the GDPR every day. There is no reason why a company with the power and financial resources of Google should not also respect the law.”
A tech justice group, Foxglove’s director Cori Crider, said: “The law is clear – it’s illegal to data-mine kids under 13. But this case isn’t just about ads. The cost of YouTube’s so-called free service is kids that are addicted to online content and influenced by large tech companies that have stolen their privacy. Google won’t clean up its act until it’s forced to do so by the courts.”
The legal action fees are being supported by Vannin Capital, which is a global litigation funder, furthermore, the claim is insured which relieves the claimants of any financial risk related to the claim.
If you want to register yourself as a claimant, you should visit (https://www.youtubedataclaim.co.uk/) the site also contains more information on the claim.