YouTube rolls out COPPA changes

YouTube rolls out COPPA changes
Social networks background

YouTube’s new privacy changes, which have been introduced to ensure compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) guidelines, have rolled out this week (January 6 2020).

Originally announced in September, the new rules mean targeted ads will no longer be available alongside videos which are designated for children.


Why has YouTube introduced this?

As per COPPA, companies are not allowed to collect data from children under the age of 13. Targeted ads require data collection, and so moving forward, YouTube will treat personal data from anyone watching kids’ content as coming from a child, regardless of their actual age. As such, channels publishing children’s content will only be able to serve non-targeted ads.


COPPA is a US law, so does it affect all creators?

Yes, YouTube has said: “Though COPPA is a US law, we are making changes to our practices globally.” The platform has advised creators to carefully consider whether their content is made for children, as well as how the age of a child is defined in their country.

However, these changes have left many creators worrying that their videos will be mistakenly designated as children’s content, which would restrict their ability to serve more profitable ads.

In response to these concerns, YouTube has confirmed: “Creators will be required to tell us when their content falls in this category, and we’ll also use machine learning to find videos that clearly target young audiences, for example, those that have an emphasis on kids characters, themes, toys, or games.”

If YouTube incorrectly identifies a video is made for children, the creator can override the decision. YouTube will only contest a creator’s designation if abuse is detected.


What impact will this have?

It’s important to note that content made for kids will not lose its ability to serve ads entirely – creators can still use non-targeted ads. However, non-targeted ads are reported to generate less channel revenue. Ultimately, we won’t know the full impact of this change until more data is available to compare revenue from targeted and non-targeted ads.

In the meantime, if you’re not sure how the new guidelines work or how to ensure you comply, contact us at DPOM today.