Google, YouTube roll out new features, block ads targeted at minors

Microsoft-owned Google is introducing new changes to its advertising and privacy policies in a bid to give kids and teens a safer experience online.

Google announced: “We’ll be expanding safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teens, and we will block ad targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of people under 18. We’ll start rolling out these updates across our products globally over the coming months. Our goal is to ensure we’re providing additional protections and delivering age-appropriate experiences for ads on Google.”

While Google’s existing policies don’t allow kids under 13 to create a standard Google account, the big tech has designed “enriching product experience specifically for teens, and families” such as Family Link, Be Internet Awesome, and YouTube Kids.

“Through Family Link, we allow parents to set up supervised accounts for their children, set screen time limits, and more. Our Be Internet Awesome digital literacy program helps kids learn how to be safe and engaged digital citizens; and our dedicated YouTube Kids app, Kids Space and teacher approved apps in Play offer experiences that are customized for younger audiences,” Google explained.

Google shared that 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.

The company stated: “We engage with these groups regularly, and share these concerns. Some countries are implementing regulations in this area, and as we comply with these regulations, we’re looking at ways to develop consistent product experiences and user controls for kids and teens globally. Today, we’re announcing a variety of new policies and updates.”

Removal Options:

In the coming weeks, Google will introduce a new policy that enables anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google Image results.

Google said: “Of course, removing an image from Search doesn’t remove it from the web, but we believe this change will help give young people more control of their images online.”

YouTube: “We’re going to change the default upload setting to the most private option available for teens ages 13-17. In addition, we’ll more prominently surface digital wellbeing features, and provide safeguards and education about commercial content.”

In addition, location history will be automatically turned off for all under-18 users globally, while apps will be required to disclose how and why they collect data in greater detail to help parents to decide which apps are appropriate for their children.



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