Report: Google may open up its services to those under 13, with parental permission

August 18, 2014
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The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is designed to limit kids’ access to the web and its potential dangers by legally requiring sites to demand parental permission from any user attempting to sign up under the age of 13. Of course many websites and services have simply disallowed youngsters from signing up for services altogether, though that’s not stopping kids from faking their age.

Google is one of the companies that only (officially) offers its services to those 13 and older, though a new report from The Information claims that this could soon be changing, as Google is reportedly preparing a new set of tools that will allow kids to legally access their services — with parental permission required. The upcoming changes reportedly will also be integrated into Android. So what kind of tools are we talking about? For kids, it means limited versions of services like Gmail and even a more kid-friendly version of Youtube. For parents Google will offer a dashboard for parents to monitor web activity and more.

It’s important to note that we can’t confirm the validity of this report, though it makes a lot of sense. While the children protection laws are circumvented everyday, offering parents a system for tracking their kids activities could result in many more young people accessing Google’s services, which is an obvious win for Google. What do you think, would you like to see Google offer limited versions of its services to younger audiences? Conversely, do you feel (if true) this is a bad move on Google’s part?

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