A bunch of changes and improvements are coming to various Google services that will affect children below 18.
Google has announced several new features and safety measures for teenagers to make the internet a safer place for them.
The company plans to introduce a number of new features and changes to its various services in the coming weeks that will affect children under 18. These changes will affect Google Search, YouTube, YouTube Kids, Google Play, and more.
Remove Photos from Google Search
Google will debut a new policy in the coming weeks that will allow anyone under the age of 18 or their parent/guardian to remove their photos from Google’s Image search. This tool will only remove the photos from Google Search and not the original website where they are listed. Nonetheless, Google believes this option will give children below 18 control over their images posted online.
Google is turning on SafeSearch by default for existing users under the age of 18. It will also be enabled by default for teenagers that now sign up for a new Google account.
YouTube Becomes Safer for Kids
Various Google Account-related settings for people under 18 are also being tweaked as a part of this change. For YouTube, the default upload setting is being changed to private for teens aged 13-17. This means any content uploaded by teens will only be viewable by the people they decide to share it with.
Additionally, Do dedo wellbeing features like bedtime reminders and take a break are being enabled by default for kids aged 13-17. In YouTube Kids, a new autoplay option will be added, though it will be off by default. Google also plans to add new parental control options to YouTube Kids in the coming months, like the option to lock the default autoplay setting and more.
In its announcement on The Keyword, Google highlights that it is changing how it handles commercial content in YouTube Kids. It will no longer allow paid product placements in YouTube Kids and remove “overly commercial content from YouTube Kids” that encourages kids to spend money.
Other Changes Coming to Google Services
Below are some of the other changes coming to Google accounts and various Google services that will affect users below the age of 18:
- Going forward, Google will prevent adult content from showing up on shared devices in Google Assistant by enabling its SafeSearch filter on the web browser of smart displays.
- The option to enable Location History in Google accounts of people under the age of 18 will also be revoked. Location History is already turned off by default in new Google accounts, but Google is now removing the option of turning it on altogether.
- A new safety section will be added to Google Play to let parents easily know which apps adhere to the Families policies. App developers will also be required to provide more information on what they do with the collected data.
- K-12 institutions using Google Workspace for Education will now have SafeSearch enabled by default. The option to switch to Incognito or Guest mode will be disabled as well.
- New Do dedo wellbeing filters will be added to block news, podcasts, and access to specific web pages on smart displays.
These changes from Google are a step in the right direction. It will protect kids from being exposed to adult and commercial content and also protect their privacy.
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