Google is working on making kid-friendly versions of several of its popular products to attract 12 and younger kids, an age group which as of now can t legally access those services at all in the United States. While talking to USA Today, Vice President of Engineering at Google, Pavni Diwanji explained that the company is looking to create new versions of its products that are aimed to be fun and safe for children. Google, among several other companies, comply with the US Children s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) that prevents them from offering its services to children under 13. The company already maintains a Safe Search Kids option that weeds out any content that isn t appropriate for kids. But this move shows that it has broader plans to circumvent the COPPA and open its door to potentially millions of new users. Also Read - Google Play Store announces blanket ban on Sugar Daddy apps over sexual contentAlso Read - Google, Facebook make vaccination mandatory for employees returning to office
This isn t the first time we are hearing of Google s overhaul plan either. Earlier this year, a report on The Information first mentioned Google s plans. The publication claimed that Google accounts for kids will include a special dashboard from which parents can oversee their kids online activities. Implementing these features correctly though will be crucial. Not only will the company have to rethink how it tracks their data, but the kind of content it will be exposing them to, while also complying with the regulation. “We expect this to be controversial, but the simple truth is kids already have the technology in schools and at home […] We want to be thoughtful about what we do, giving parents the right tools to oversee their kids’ use of our products. We want kids to be safe, said Diwanji. Also Read - Fake Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) Lite APK links going viral on the internet: How to spot them
She is “a big believer in coaching moments for kids, rather than just blocking what they can do. I want to enable trust in them. Thirteen isn’t some magical number. I want to teach them what’s right and wrong, and bring families together using technology.” The service could prove controversial as The Federal Trade Commission’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act has so far imposed fines against 20 companies in its 15-year history for mining young user information without parental consent. The company hasn t yet provided a specific timeframe for when it plans to introduce these new products, but the executives note that they are going to put a full-time effort on it, hinting that we may have to wait for months.