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Google has finally agreed to pay $170 million fine to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York attorney general that its YouTube service earned millions by illegally harvesting personal information from children without their parents’ consent.

The settlement requires Google to pay $136 million to the FTC and an additional $34 million fine to New York state for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

The COPPA rule requires child-directed websites and online services to explicitly obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from children under the age of 13 and then using it for targeted advertising.

However, an FTC investigation [PDF] against Google’s video service for children, called YouTube Kids, revealed that it had illegally gathered kids’ data under 13.

images from Hacker News