There has always been a big concern to protect our children from seeing adult websites, or simply websites that they can get into a lot of trouble on - and let's face it, kids love to test the waters and our patience. Which is exactly why The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act was implemented...to protect our children. However, the mind of a child is a fascinating machine that can work its way around the parental guidelines - sometimes as easy as clicking a box that says that you are over 18...now having a credit card might slow a portion of them down, but others will figure out a solution for that as well.
Circumnavigating the 'system' is what kids live for - hey, they get bored. Some sites are really fine for children to see and use, however, the laws have made it more of a yes or no issue, when there are really many shades of gray in there. Google recognizes this palette of colors exists and is trying to work out a solution that includes real parental control and yet allows kids under 13 to sign up for Google Services according to a new report from The Information.
Google is reportedly developing a new set of tools that will allow children to access their services provided that parental permission is given. These changes will also be integrated into Android - where Andy Rubin didn't want to add an age question during that setup, yet it was required on the web...hence a mixed bag of birthdates. This new mindset at Google seems like a good idea...we already know that kids can find a workaround for almost anything, but by offering up some kid-approved sites, it is possible the parents would get onboard and give them permission to sign up. The parents would then have the ability to monitor where they go or block what they can have access to - a limited version of Gmail or a more kid-friendly YouTube. This would be a win-win-win situation for Google, the kids and the parents.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if parents would allow their kids to sign up for these Google Services if they would have control over their kids viewing habits...as always, we would love to hear from you. Below is a great example of how a parent could legally set up an email account for their newborn as a sort of scrapbook and history timeline for that child to view when they got older.