Why is YouTube making me verify my age?

Answered by Frank Schwing

YouTube is making users verify their age for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is to comply with legal regulations regarding the protection of minors and their online privacy. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the United States and the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive in Europe have specific guidelines in place to safeguard the privacy and personal information of children under the age of 13.

By verifying age, YouTube can distinguish between users who are of age to consent to the collection and use of their personal data for advertising purposes and those who are not. This is important because collecting and using personal data, including browsing and watch history, for targeted advertising is prohibited for minors under these regulations.

When users verify their age, they are essentially confirming that they are above the legal age to consent to having their data used for advertising. This allows YouTube to tailor advertisements based on users’ interests and behavior, which helps generate revenue for the platform.

Additionally, age verification helps YouTube ensure that age-restricted content is not accessible to underage users. Some videos on YouTube may contain explicit or age-inappropriate content, and by verifying a user’s age, YouTube can prevent minors from accessing such content.

In Europe, the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive specifically mandates age verification for online platforms like YouTube. This directive aims to protect minors from harmful content and ensure that appropriate measures are in place to safeguard their online experiences.

Personal experiences and situations can vary when it comes to age verification on YouTube. Some users may find it inconvenient or unnecessary, while others may appreciate the added protection for their personal information and the filtering of age-inappropriate content. It ultimately depends on individual perspectives and concerns regarding privacy, online safety, and compliance with legal regulations.

YouTube is making users verify their age to comply with legal regulations surrounding the protection of minors’ privacy and to ensure age-appropriate content and advertising practices. Verifying age allows YouTube to use personal data for targeted advertising only for users who are above the legal age, while also preventing minors from accessing age-restricted content.