BRO0033

 

 

Supplementary written evidence submitted by YouTube

 

 

 

Thank you again for providing YouTube the opportunity to appear before the Committee for the Broadcasting in Wales inquiry.

 

We hope our evidence was useful and, following close engagement with your Clerk, I have provided further detail below for the Committee on behalf of YouTube relating to specific questions raised.

 

Data

 

As my colleague Tomos Grace set out at the evidence session, we do not routinely monitor geographical trends to the level of detail requested by members of the Committee and nor do we hold specific data on Welsh language content on YouTube given the complexity of determining the language of user generated content.

 

With respect to advertising and targeting, we want to help people reach potential customers and build their business with YouTube, all while protecting our users’ information and putting them in control.

 

At Google, we follow a set of core privacy principles that guide what information we do and don’t collect. User data is processed in accordance with our privacy policy. We never sell your personal information to anyone, and we never use the content you store in Google apps like YouTube, Gmail, Photos and Drive for ads purposes. We never use sensitive information to personalise ads - like health, race, religion or sexual orientation. And we give users choice and control over their privacy and advertising settings via their My Account and My Ad Centre pages.

 

Businesses do want to advertise to people who are interested in their products and services. As Mr Lake asked about how we would help a translation services company, here is how we might help such a company reach potential customers:

 

                      One way the company might want to reach potential customers is by showing ads to people who have already visited their site before. When you visit the translation company’s website, the company can use an advertising service to save a cookie—a small text file-to your browser to remember that your device visited their page. Later, the translation services company can use their advertising partner to show you ads when you visit other websites (like YouTube), encouraging you to come back. This all works because the translation company’s website asked their advertising service partner to save this signal when you visited their page.

 

                      Ads like these can be useful, but if you're no longer interested in translation services, you may not want to see them anymore. If the website is using Google services to show their ads, you can choose to turn them off in your settings. We offer this and a host of other easy-to-use, powerful user controls in My Ad Centre, which was designed to give users more control over their ad experience on Google’s sites and apps.

 

        The translation services company might also decide that it doesn’t just want to show ads to people who visited its site previously, but it also wants to show ads to other consumers who might be interested in translation services. Their advertising partner (like Google, or another advertising service provider) can help them show their ads to other consumers who might be interested in their translation services.

 

        But how do we know what consumers might be interested in Welsh translation services, if they didn’t already visit that website? Our services can show these ads based on predictions about what a user may like, based on their past online activity, as well as data about their rough location and their preferred language.

 

You can find more information about how Google makes money with advertising here, and more information about My Ad Centre here.

 

I would also note that you are able to use Google Trends as a publicly available resource to monitor trends in YouTube searches over time. For example, Ireland and Norway are the two countries outside the UK that rank highest for the search term "Welsh language" on YouTube.

 

Regulation

 

We believe deeply in technology’s ability to unlock creativity and engagement, but we also understand the responsibility we have to keep our users safe. We work closely with regulators in the UK to ensure users are protected and supported and regularly engage with the Government to ensure regulation is effective and proportionate. In particular, we look forward to working closely with Ofcom under the incoming Online Safety regime, which will address many of the issues raised by MPs during the session.

 

Our evidence was focused on our approach to Broadcasting in Wales rather than upcoming legislation in Parliament but I can assure the Committee that we are working closely with Government, MPs and peers to help them ensure that the UK’s ambitious digital legislative programme is realised and the appropriate level of regulation of the sector is in force.

 

I hope this has helped to address your questions and provided the Committee with the information it needs.

 

 

25 July 2023