The importance of enforcing data privacy regulations

By Bob Kobek, President

CustomerCount® is very mindful of the perils of collecting data and the need to keep it as secure as possible. And, importantly, does not, nor will it ever, share information without permission with any entity other than our client, the actual owner of the data. That means, advertising agencies, so called reputation management companies, no one or group.

But why are we posting this today? Read on.

Yesterday, September 4, it was announced that Google LLC and its subsidiary YouTube, LLC would have to pay a record $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that the YouTube video sharing service illegally collected personal information from children without their parents’ consent.

The settlement requires Google and YouTube to pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule. The $136 million penalty is by far the largest amount the FTC has ever obtained in a COPPA case since Congress enacted the law in 1998.

In a complaint filed against the companies, the FTC and New York Attorney General allege that YouTube violated the COPPA Rule by collecting personal information—in the form of persistent identifiers that are used to track users across the Internet—from viewers of child-directed channels, without first notifying parents and getting their consent.

YouTube earned millions of dollars by using the identifiers, commonly known as cookies, to deliver targeted ads to viewers of these channels, according to the complaint.

The Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General are not messing around.

There are a few strong messages about data privacy for businesses to note

First, taking data privacy and the regulations that exist, and pending, seriously, is gaining significant momentum. We will see more federal and state regulation coming that will make GDPR look simple. At some point we may see criminal charges tacked on.   

Second, notice how the settlement was directed by both the Federal Trade Commission and the NY state AG. By teaming up there is no escape for Google or YouTube. They can appeal to the federal courts and they would have to appeal to the state courts. The likelihood of them winning in one are nil, let alone both.

Third, the feds and the states are going to partner up more often so be advised.  

You can read the full press release on the Federal Trade Commission’s website here:

On a more practical note, how cold do you have to be to sell the information about children?

About CustomerCount

CustomerCount is a feature-rich, cloud-based survey solution providing intuitive real-time reporting, fast turnaround on requested updates, and detailed and dynamic data gathering capabilities to support process improvement efforts, build customer loyalty and improve your bottom line. Developed and managed by Mobius Vendor Partners, CustomerCount was initially designed for the timeshare and contact center industries and is now used by organizations across numerous different vertical markets and industries. 

For more information about how seriously we take data privacy, request a demo or call Bob Kobek on 317-816-6000.  You can also follow them on their blog, on Twitter or Facebook.

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