Google Considers Accounts For Children, Provides Parental Controls

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For the first time, the world’s largest internet search provider is discussing plans to offer children under age 13 the opportunity to sign up for personal accounts.

Google and most other Internet companies tread with caution because of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The law enforces strict limits on how information about children is collected and requires parental consent on how that data can be used for advertising.

“Unless Google does this right it will threaten the privacy of millions of children and deny parents the ability to make meaningful decisions about who can collect information on their kids,” said Jeff Chester, executive director of Center for Digital Democracy.

Earlier this year, Google began developing a child-friendly version of YouTube, which would give parents the ability to control content viewed by their children. Google now aims to create a system that lets parents monitor what information is collected about their offspring, as well as restrict how Google services are used.

Do you think Google’s plan is a good one? Would you use it? Tell us in the comments below!

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock / Fuse)