Caught red-handed. The affiliate of YouTube videos, and therefore by Google Google, is accused of having collected information on children under 13 years. For breaking a law in force since 1998, YouTube will pay a $ 170 million fine in the United States, said Wednesday, September 4, the Consumer Protection Agency (FTC) in a statement.

The net giant will pay the fine, as part of an amicable agreement, which must still receive the green light from the Ministry of Justice. This is the most important agreement in a case involving the protection of children's privacy.

As of April 2018, 23 digital rights and child protection organizations had filed a complaint with the FTC. They accused YouTube, which belongs to Google, of collecting the personal information of minors (location, device used, phone numbers) without parents knowing, and to use it to allow targeted advertising.

The FTC will receive 136 of the $ 170 million fine while the remaining $ 34 million will go to the New York State Department of Justice.

"YouTube has been touting its popularity among kids with companies that were prospective customers," said FTC boss Joseph Simons. "However, when it came to respecting the law, the company refused to acknowledge that part of its platform was clearly intended for children.There is no excuse for how YouTube violated the law ", he added.

YouTube changes its methods

The out-of-court settlement, which the two FTC Democrat Commissioners opposed, did not deem it tough enough, forcing YouTube to change its methods.

"We will be treating the data of those who watch children's programs on YouTube as if they were from a child, regardless of the age of the viewer," said Susan Wojcicki, who runs YouTube, in a statement released following announcement of the agreement.

The data collection will be limited to those necessary for the proper functioning of the service and there will no longer be any targeted advertising on this type of content as well as the possibility of making comments, she said.

With AFP