While the blurring of advertising and content has become part of everyday life for adults, many privacy advocates, and parents for that matter, object when the target is children.
Google has recently come under fire for its new YouTube for Kids app for that very reason, and several privacy groups have sent a letter to the FTC to formally complain about the app. Google claims that the new app is COPPA-compliant, and that its goal was to keep the app free for users, which therefore necessitated it being ad-supported. While the app may follow COPPA rules and regulations, Google may still be in for a legal battle if the FTC decides to pursue the matter further. At the very least, it could be in violation of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit’s Self-Regulatory Guidelines which prohibit such blurring of lines.