Google may be working on new versions of its popular services like Gmail and YouTube designed specifically for children under 13 years. Currently, anyone who wants to create a Google account has to be at least 13 years old and children below that age are redirected to a page explaining children’s privacy rights, as dictated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, when they try to create a new Google account. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is creating new versions of its services that will let parents create accounts for their children and tightly control what content they access, how they access it and how (and what) data is collected on them.
Even though the new strategy is controversial, an unnamed source close to Google has explained that parents are already creating accounts for their children and the search giant only wants to make the process safer and easier. According to reports, Google has already begun work on a version of YouTube for kids aged under 10 that will only have videos that are suitable for young children and will be easy to use on tablets. However, by creating services especially focused on children, Google will also get access to a new hitherto unexploited market of delivering entertainment and educational content and tools to young children and parents of young children through the Internet.
Privacy organisations have already raised concerns regarding Google’s strategy and have warned that unless the company goes about making those services in a transparent and ‘correct’ way, the privacy of millions of young children could be compromised.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Main image: DNA India
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