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YouTube Fined in Millions Over Kids’ Data Privacy Breach

To combat such repetitive issues, especially involving kids’ privacy, the platform is considering putting all the content for children on the YouTube Kids app that was launched in 2015

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FILE - Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

Google has reportedly reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over alleged violations of children’s data privacy laws on its content sharing app YouTube.

The settlement comes after an FTC investigation found that Google improperly collected children’s data which is a breach of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, CNET reported on Friday.

However, the Department of Justice has yet to sign off on the details of the fine, hence the exact amount YouTube would lose in the settlement remains unknown.

Earlier in June it was reported that Google could face fines from a late-stage investigation by the federal government into YouTube’s handling of children’s videos, after which the platform said it was considering significant changes to protect its youngest content creators and viewers.

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FILE – Signage is seen inside the YouTube Space LA offices in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 21, 2015. VOA

One of the US Senators, Ed Markey, had also sent a letter to the FTC asking the commission to “hold YouTube accountable for any illegal activity affecting children that the company may have committed”.

In addition to the already existing enquiries on YouTube, the Centre for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood also approached the FTC suggesting penalties for the video streaming giant.

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They recommended all children’s data be deleted, civil penalties, plus “a $100 million fund to be used to support the production of non-commercial, high-quality and diverse content for children”, the report noted.

To combat such repetitive issues, especially involving kids’ privacy, the platform is considering putting all the content for children on the YouTube Kids app that was launched in 2015. (IANS)

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Google Maps Captures Over 10 mn Miles of Street View Imagery

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible

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Google Maps
There's also the Street View trekker on Google Maps, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn't possible.

Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times.

The company announced on Friday that Google Earth now lets people browse more than 36 million square miles of high definition satellite images from various providers – covering more than 98 per cent of the entire population – to see the world from above.

“While these stunning photos show us parts of the world we may never get a chance to visit, they also help Google Maps accurately model a world that is changing each day,” said Thomas Escobar, Senior Product Manager, Google Maps.

The idea of Street View started as a side project more than 12 years ago as part of a goal to map the entire world.

The company collects street imagery via a fleet of Street View cars, each equipped with nine cameras that capture high-definition imagery from every vantage point possible.

“These cameras are athermal, meaning that theya�re designed to handle extreme temperatures without changing focus so they can function in a range of environments,” Escobar added.

Each Street View car includes its own photo processing center and lidar sensors that use laser beams to accurately measure distance.

There’s also the Street View trekker, a backpack that collects imagery from places where driving isn’t possible.

These trekkers are carried by boats, sheep, camels, and even scout troops to gather high quality photos from multiple angles, often in some of the hardest-to-map places around the world.

Google Maps
Google Maps have captured more than 10 million miles of Street View imagery – a distance that could circle the globe over 400 times. Pixabay

In 2019 alone, Street View images from the Google Maps community have helped the company assign addresses to nearly seven million buildings in previously under-mapped places like Armenia, Bermuda, Lebanon, Myanmar, Tonga, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.

Once Google collects photos, it uses a technique called photogrammetry to align and stitch together a single set of images.

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“These images show us critically important details about an area-things like roads, lane markings, buildings and rivers, along with the precise distance between each of these objects. All of this information is gathered without ever needing to set foot in the location itself,” said Google. (IANS)