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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.