YouTube Faces Legal Battle Over Children’s Privacy

  • YouTube is facing a legal battle for allegedly breaching the privacy and data rights of under-13s in the UK
  • A claim lodged with the High Court against parent company Google accuses the firm of collecting children’s data without parental consent
  • Privacy expert Duncan McCann, who is bringing the action, argues this is a breach of UK and European (EU) law
  • “When the internet first emerged, we used to be worried about how children used the internet” said Mr McCann, adding “that is still a problem, but now it’s a two-way street. We need to focus on how the internet is using our children”
  • A YouTube spokesperson said it does not comment on pending litigation and the platform is not for use by under-13s

TikTok Reject Microsoft’s Bid 

  • Microsoft has said that its offer to buy the US operations of hugely popular video-sharing app TikTok has been rejected, paving the way for Oracle to make a last-minute bid
  • US President Donald Trump gave the deadline of the  15th September for the Chinese-owned app to sell or shut down in the US because of alleged  national security threats
  • Earlier reports had said Oracle was seriously considering buying TikTok’s businesses in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand with investment firms, including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital
  • A TikTok spokesperson told the BBC the firm was “not commenting on either the Microsoft development nor the Oracle speculation”

Google Must Act on Money Scams says Which?

  • The consumer group Which? has called on Google to do more to tackle scam adverts after finding a host of dubious firms appearing at the top of Google searches
  • Having investigated the tech giant’s pay-per-click service, which allows businesses to buy prominent spots on search results, Which? said fake adverts for debt charities, car insurers and investment firms were regularly appearing on the site.
  • Google searches for saving terms, such as “top Isa”, “best bonds” and “best-fixed rate bonds”, were topped by dubious ads for “investment finder” services, it said.
  • Under new rules, advertisers promoting financial services or products now have to submit documentation to verify their legal identities and business operations. But these advertisers have 21 days to submit documentation and their ads will remain live during this time.
  • Jenny Ross, the Which? money editor, said: “People should be able to trust that the adverts they see on Google are legitimate”

Child Sex Offender Caught Messaging Children Online 

  • A man from North Wales has been convicted of two counts of engaging in sexual communication with a child, after he contacted online accounts he thought belonged to two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14, in early 2019
  • The accounts were actually ‘decoys’ used by adults to report offenders to the police, a sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court heard on Friday
  • The 41-year-old encouraged the two teenagers to send pictures of themselves in swimming costumes and in the bath, before asking them to meet up with him.
  • A judge said the evidence suggested Walsh, who has numerous convictions for sexual offences against children, has a “longstanding, entrenched and predatory sexual interest in children”