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Silver Golub & Teitell is prosecuting a class action against Google LLC (“Google”) and YouTube LLC (“YouTube”), as well as children’s entertainment companies that operated YouTube channels such as Hasbro, Mattel, Cartoon Network and others, alleging claims under state privacy and consumer protection laws based on tracking of the online activity of minors, including children under the age of thirteen in violation of the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”), 15 U.S.C. 6501-6506.

The suit is based on the same behavior that led Google to pay a fine of $170 million to settlement claims brought by the Federal Trade Commission and New York State Attorney General that Google had violated COPPA by knowingly serving behavioral advertising to viewers of content on channels directed at children under the age of 13.

In July 2021, Judge Beth L. Freeman ruled for the second time that the “alleged conduct  [is] squarely covered, and preempted, by COPPA and its exclusive remedial scheme that vests enforcement authority in the FTC and state attorneys general.” SGT appealed Judge Freeman’s ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and SGT Partner David S. Golub argued the appeal before a Ninth Circuit panel on August 31, 2022.

The case is Hubbard et al. v. Google et al., 5:19-cv-07016 (N.D. Cal.) and is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California before Judge Beth L. Freeman.

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Ian W. Sloss

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