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Google working on kid's version of services, will require age when signing up on Android

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Google working on kid's version of services, will require age when signing up on Android
A new report is saying that Google is working on a version of its online services for children, including special versions of YouTube, Search, and Gmail. For years now, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which was intended to protect kids, has essentially forced major web platforms to ignore users under the age of 13, and forced parents to help kids lie about their ages. But, Google allegedly wants to put an end to that. Details about the plans are scarce, especially when it comes to Android. The report specifically says that Google would begin requiring anyone signing up for a Google account on Android to provide their age, but it is unclear how apps could be altered to be more accessible for younger kids. 

Parental controls have been something that Google has mostly left up to 3rd party developers. It wasn't until Android 4.3 that Google added anything close to parental controls with the restricted profiles, which would allow control over what apps could be accessed. Unfortunately, restricted profiles are part of the multi-user system, which is currently only available on Android tablets, though it has been rumored to be a part of Android L for phones. 

Whatever changes Google has planned will undoubtedly affect Android apps for Google services, but there is no timetable given for the kid's versions of these apps. So, there is no guarantee that it will happen anytime soon, or have anything to do with Android L. Presumably, the changes might not require Android L, and could be done mostly through app updates and Google Play services. 

6 Comments
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posted on 19 Aug 2014, 00:23 2

1. berry889 (Posts: 23; Member since: 01 Apr 2013)


Wont they just cheat on the age?

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 00:49

2. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Yes, definitely they can.

If only parents monitor their kids while signing up.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 02:44 2

3. Awalker (Posts: 1644; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


Children should not be signing up for anything without their parents' consent.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 16:05

6. emvxl (Posts: 41; Member since: 29 Sep 2009)


Amen to that.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 06:44

4. Napalm_3nema (Posts: 2236; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


Now they are coming for the children...data mining from cradle to grave. Google must be looking to shore up those ad revenues as mobile matures and ad prices start their inevitable decline.

posted on 19 Aug 2014, 07:42

5. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


This is why my child has a 521 for some occasions. Set them up with a windows account, cortana doesnt work because of their age, she is quite nice about it too lol. But i can control what apps they can download and see from the store, safe search, apps to install. The tablet is awesome, you can limit how much usage, what times of day. A whole host of options as a result. Pretty neat imo. And when they do request an app install i can monitor it from any web connection and monitor what sites they have viewed, attempted etc.

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