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YouTube says it's making 4 major changes to its policies, after settling with the Federal Trade Commission for $170 million for violating children's privacy laws.

Why it matters: The changes announced by the video giant shows that it's taking the problem of preventing further violations somewhat seriously, even if children's privacy advocates argue that the fine didn't go far enough.

What's new: YouTube says it will do more to promote its kids-specific app, YouTube Kids. In addition, starting in about 4 months:

  1. It will treat data from anyone watching children’s content on its main site as if it came from a child, regardless of the viewer's actual age. This will limit data collection on those videos.
  2. It will stop running personalized ads on content made for kids.
  3. It will turn off comments and notifications on videos for kids.
  4. It will require creators to identify content made for kids.

What they're saying:

"In terms of YouTube's response, it's a good start. However expanding resources for YouTube Kids should just be the beginning."
— Dylan Collins, CEO of kids tech platform SuperAwesome
“[I]t’s extremely disappointing that the FTC isn’t requiring more substantive changes or doing more to hold Google accountable for harming children through years of illegal data collection."
— Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood Executive Director Josh Golin

The big picture: YouTube says that while it knows a lot of families watch YouTube together, it recommends that kids watching video alone use the more highly regulated YouTube Kids app.

  • Yes, but: Experts argue that children avoid sites or apps designated specifically for them.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
6 mins ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.