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Is YouTube watching your kids?

Kids love watching videos on YouTube. But what parents may not realize is that data on their viewing habits could be gathered, analyzed, then used to sell ads.

Now a collection of nearly two-dozen advocacy groups - including Consumers Union - says Google, which owns the site, may be violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law meant protect the privacy of children online.

YouTube’s terms of service specify that the site is for users 13 and older. Google says it offers a YouTube Kids app that’s fully COPPA compliant.

But not all parents are using the app. According to one report, 80 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 12 use regular YouTube daily. And advocates say the company knows it.

Twenty-two advocacy groups banded together to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. They estimate Google has collected data on nearly 25 million children without their parent’s explicit consent. Consumers Union says parents probably don’t even realize it’s happening.

If the FTC decides to investigate and discovers violations, it could fine Google about $41,000 per violation.

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