Google Reveals Series Of Online Safety Measures For Children

Google revealed a series of online safety measures for children.

Google recently revealed a series of online safety measures for kids and teens — including a private setting for videos uploaded by children and a safeguard for ads shown to under-18 users.

Google revealed a series of online safety measures for children.
Photo from AFP News

Google’s new features, which came amidst heightened concerns about online child exploitation and safety at a time of growing internet usage during the global coronavirus pandemic, affected Google’s YouTube video platform as well as its online services such as Google Assistant and Search.

Google product and user experience director Mindy Brooks said that parents, educators, policy makers, and child safety and privacy experts were rightly concerned about how to keep kids and teens safe as minors spent more time online.

Brooks also said that they engaged with those groups regularly and shared those concerns as well.

Google’s “safe search” — which excluded mature or sensitive content — will be the default setting for users under 18 years old, which up to now had been the case only for under-13 users.

READ ALSO: Instagram Intros Sensitive Content Control Feature

On the massively popular YouTube platform, Google said that content from 13-to-17-year-olds will be private by default. James Beser, the head of product management for YouTube Kids and Family, said in a blog post that with private uploads, content can only be seen by users and whomever they choosed.

According to Beser, they wanted to help younger users make informed decisions about their online footprint and digital privacy, adding that users can change the default upload visibility setting if they would like to make their content public.

Also, Google will make it easier for families to request for removal of a child’s photos from image search requests. Brooks said that removing an image from search didn’t remove it from the web, but they believed that the said change will help give young people more control of their images online.

In another safety move, GMA News Online reported that Google will turn off location history for all under-18 users globally, without an option to turn it back on. This was already in place for under-13 users.

Moreover, Google will make changes in how it showed ads to minors, blocking any “age-sensitive” categories and also banning targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of under-18 users.

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