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Updates to YouTube’s Terms of Service

  • By The YouTube Team
  • Nov.18.2020
These new terms will be effective in countries outside of the United States in mid-year 2021.

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. Starting today, we’re rolling out an updated Terms of Service in the United States. These new terms will be effective in countries outside of the United States in mid-year 2021. Please read through the updated terms carefully, they include the following changes.


First, our Terms of Service already expressly state that you are not allowed to “collect or harvest any information that might identify a person (for example, usernames), unless permitted by that person.” This has always included facial recognition data, and with today’s updated Terms of Service, we are making that explicitly clear.


Second, ads can now appear on videos from channels not in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP), and we will begin gradually placing ads on brand safe videos. This is part of our ongoing investments in new solutions, like Home Feed ads, that help advertisers responsibly tap into the full scale of YouTube to connect with their audiences and grow their businesses. Advertisers will continue to have full access to our brand suitability controls. Over the past three years, we improved our ability to identify appropriate placements for advertisers, in part by working closely with our advertising partners and industry organizations. Because these channels are not in YPP, there is no creator revenue share, but creators can still apply to YPP once they hit the eligibility criteria, which remains the same.


Finally, for U.S. creators in YPP, our updated Terms state that any revenue payments from YouTube will now be treated as royalties from a U.S. tax perspective, and that Google will withhold taxes from these payments if it is required by law. U.S. creators will generally be unaffected by these withholding taxes as long as they provide valid tax documentation in Adsense. For creators outside of the U.S., we will provide more details in 2021 as the terms become available in their countries.


You can view the previous Terms of Service and how it compares with this update in our help forum.