Updated Terms of Service FAQs

Our most recent Terms of Service include updates on these specific topics: facial recognition data, YouTube’s right to monetize, and U.S. tax obligations. These Terms are effective in the United States starting November 2020, and outside the U.S. starting June 1, 2021.

Why did you change the Terms of Service?

At YouTube, we periodically update our Terms of Service to make sure they are clear, easy to understand and meet the needs of our partners, advertisers and viewers.

With this update to our Terms of Service, we’re clarifying restrictions around the collection of facial recognition data. We also want to be transparent with you about the rights we take to run ads in various areas of our platform. For example, we run ads on videos, the homepage masthead, and in various search results. This update also clarifies how revenue payments from YouTube will be considered royalty payments from a U.S. tax perspective, and that Google will withhold taxes from these payments as required by law.

What are the main changes?

Here is a summary of the changes:

  • Facial recognition restrictions. The Terms of Service already stated that you cannot collect any information that might identify a person without their permission. While this has always included facial recognition information, the new Terms make that explicitly clear. 
  • YouTube’s right to monetize. We’re gradually starting to serve ads on a limited set of brand-safe videos on channels not in the YouTube Partner Program or not under a monetizing agreement. There won’t be revenue share from these ads, but Creators can still apply for the YouTube Partner Program once they reach the eligibility criteria, which remain unchanged.
  • Royalty payments and tax withholding. If you are entitled to receive payments from YouTube through any other agreement between yourself and YouTube (for example, through the YouTube Partner Program), all such payments will be treated as royalties starting June 1, 2021. Google will withhold taxes from such payments as required by law.

How will this affect my YPP monetization?

Changes from this Terms of Service update will not affect your YouTube Partner Program (YPP) monetization settings.

Partners outside of the United States should submit complete tax info in AdSense for YouTube as soon as possible to determine if any U.S. tax withholding applies to their payments. Google may begin withholding taxes on payments starting with the July 2021 payment (covering June earnings) if any withholding taxes apply. Visit our summary in the Help Center to learn more: U.S. tax requirements for YouTube earnings

Does this have to do with the European Union Copyright Directive or GDPR?

No, this doesn’t have anything to do with the European Union Copyright Directive or GDPR.

What does this mean for my privacy or data?

We haven’t made any changes to the way we treat your information. You can read about our privacy practices by reviewing the Google Privacy Policy and YouTube Kids Privacy Notice. As a reminder, you can always review your privacy settings and manage your data and personalization by visiting your Google Account.

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