Google to introduce new privacy protections for young users
Posted on 10th August 2021 at 20:42
YouTube uploads to be private by default while tech giant will also block ad targeting
Google is to introduce new protections for younger users, making video uploads to YouTube private by default for under-18s. The tech giant is also introducing new policies to remove images from Google results.
The company is also blocking ad targeting for under-18s based on age, gender or interests, and will prevent certain ad categories from being shown to teenagers.
Google SafeSearch, which filters explicit results from searches, will be turned on by default for users under 18, while location history will be turned off and apps in a new family section on the Play store will be required to give more detail on their data practices.
The changes to YouTube will be introduced gradually, with default upload settings adjusted to the most private option available. The changes will apply to the accounts of those aged 13-17.
“We want to help younger users make informed decisions about their online footprint and digital privacy, including encouraging them to make an intentional choice if they’d like to make their content public,” said Mindy Brooks, Google’s general manager for kids and families.
The company is also aiming to give children and teenagers more control over their digital footprint. The new policy will enable anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google Image results. It will not remove them from the internet, but their exclusion from the search results could make them less visible.
Google will also roll out new easy-to-understand guides for parents and young people on data collection and use, along with new digital wellbeing tools such as bedtime reminders and break notifications on YouTube that will be enabled by default. Autoplay on YouTube will also be disabled by default.
“Technology has helped kids and teens during the pandemic stay in school through lockdowns and maintain connections with family and friends,” said Ms Brooks. “As kids and teens spend more time online, parents, educators, child safety and privacy experts and policy-makers are rightly concerned about how to keep them safe. We engage with these groups regularly, and share these concerns.”
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