Legal action accuses YouTube of breaching children's privacy

By agency reporter
September 23, 2020

Duncan McCann, a senior researcher at the New Economics Foundation, launched a class action against Google on 14 September 2020, alleging its YouTube platform routinely breaks UK and European privacy laws, unlawfully targets young children with addictive programming, and harvests their data for advertisers. 

The action, brought in a personal capacity by McCann, is the first in Europe against a tech firm on behalf of children, and among the largest data actions to date. It seeks over £2.5 billion in damages for more than 5 million British children and parents. McCann’s case is backed by international law firm Hausfeld and digital technology campaign Foxglove.

NEF issued the following statement: “While Duncan is bringing this case in his personal capacity, NEF are proud that he’s standing up for kids and parents in the UK who have no practical way to hold Google to account. We support his decision to act as the Class Representative, defending the rights of millions of kids and parents online. Actions like Duncan’s lift up people’s collective power against the tech giants, and help rebalance the scales of the digital economy in favour of citizens and consumers.”

NEF is also one of 23 signatories to a letter coordinated by Global Action Plan calling on Facebook and Google to cease targeting advertising toward under-18s.

* More information on the Global Action Plan campaign and letter here

* Learn more about the class action and register an interest if you think you may be entitled to compensation here

* New Economics Foundation


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