Last updated: June 14, 2023


YouTube is a consumer Google service that UW Google accounts can utilize. However, as a consumer service, use of YouTube with a UW Google account is not covered by the Privacy and Data Security agreements between UW and Google. Additionally, UW-IT has no way of managing or recovering YouTube accounts, content, and data in the event of deletion. 


While a UW Google account can be used to authenticate and access YouTube for viewing and publishing content, YouTube is strictly a consumer Google service and does not fall under the Privacy and Data Security agreements and contracts between UW and Google.

Instead, the service agreement is directly between the UW Google user and Google. As such, YouTube is not appropriate for use with FERPA or any other protected or sensitive data. State records management and discovery is the sole responsibility of the user who has chosen to use their UW Google account with YouTube. 

Additionally, YouTube’s use policies allow Google to monetize YouTube content through advertising or through charging user fees without payment or compensation to the channel owner — see the “Right to Monetize” section of Google’s YouTube terms of use. UW-IT has confirmed with our Google account representative that this applies to the use of YouTube by UW Google accounts, and that Google is not planning an exception for education accounts. The only exception Google will consider is if there is a legal statute that would apply. UW-IT has had the University of Washington Division of the Attorney General’s Office review this policy, and no applicable law requires Google to forgo this monetization for use of YouTube by UW Google accounts.

This raises the potential risk that YouTube content maintained by UW Google accounts could be specifically targeted for advertisements; that risk should be carefully considered when using the YouTube service for UW content. 

In short, there may not be a substantial difference between using a consumer Gmail account and a UW Google account with YouTube, but users and departments should review the specific sets of terms of service to see if the terms are appropriate for their intended use. 

Technical Details 

UW-IT has no access to data (content, audit logging, etc.) related to YouTube. Google is also restricted from providing UW-IT data about YouTube use by UW Google identities, based on the consumer agreement between the user and Google that covers use of the service. The only controls available to UW-IT for YouTube are: 

  • Ability to configure restricted mode to support compliance of COPPA for users under 13. The UW has not enabled this feature, so a UW Google account should not be used by anyone under 13 for accessing YouTube. 
  • Ability to block or enable YouTube access by UW Google accounts. 
  • Ability to delete a UW Google identity, which will result in the purging of all YouTube data associated with the UW Google identity.  

Deletion of YouTube Data

All YouTube content, channels, and data associated with a UW Google account will be deleted when the account is deleted per the standard UW Google Account and Data Expiration timelines.

To preserve a YouTube channel associated with a UW Google account using a Brand Account, continue reading.

Brand Accounts 

Brand Accounts are specific to YouTube and enable channel management that supports multiple user logins with varying levels of channel and content management access. UW-IT does not typically provide support for the use of Brand Accounts. 

Please see the Brand Accounts IT Connect page for instructions on how to maintain ownership of a YouTube channel owned by a UW Google account.