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

by: Andrew GrushAugust 18, 2014

google logo (2) Brionv

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?

  • Lilith_Black

    Pple will likely cont to fake their age to circumvent the restrictions for convenience. (Restrictions don’t work and lots of parents don’t enforce them)

  • Ace1230

    I personally agree with this, if parents are OK with their children using these services then all the power to them. Besides it is not like people on Facebook are telling the truth about their age.

    • Mike Reid

      I like the idea of a more limited version of YouTube.

      Yes, many kids will ALWAYS get around the effectively hypothetical restrictions, but the younger ones can have their parents set up their account without having to lie about age to do so.

      This is a good thing IMO. I see no downside.

  • Sal

    I don’t think this matters. People will always fake their age online anyway and parents will have trouble around that.

  • Luka

    Am i over 18? Bitch please, I’m 218.

    • MasterMuffin

      According to statistics from different websites, a lot of people were born on 1st of January 1899 :D

      • Mike Reid

        I usually go with 1900, as that’s usually the first year offered. Dunno if I’ve seen 1899.

        • MasterMuffin

          In the good old times there 19th century was still an option :)

  • Guest

    How are kids allowed to sign away their right to privacy when they can’t legally sign contracts at all?