To comply with regulations that have been set around the world to protect the safety of children in online spaces, Google has recently announced new policies and updates. The company already has tools designed to monitor, regulate and protect the experience minors have on the internet.
For instance, Google does not allow anyone under 13 years of age to create a standard Google account. The Family Link app by the company also lets parents set digital ground rules for children to help guide them as they learn, play, and explore online.
Here is an overview of the top new policy updates the company will be rolling out to complement earlier implementations.
1. Removal of Images for Anyone Under 18
Google is allowing users under the age of 18, or their guardians, to request the removal of their images from the Google Image search results. This does not remove it from existing somewhere on the web, but it is a boost to helping minors having more control over their digital footprint.
Safesearch is a tool that filters explicit content from the search results when enabled and is always on if an account is managed through the Family link app. Google is turning on SafeSearch in the next few months for existing users under 18 and making it to be default on for new teen users. They will also apply SafeSearch to web browsers used on smart displays.
3. Location History
For all accounts on Google, location is default off and unavailable for accounts under parental supervision. Google is going a step further to make the location disabled to everyone under 18, without the option to enable it.
Google will prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teens, and they will block ad targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of people under 18.
5. Assistant-enabled smart devices.
New Digital Wellbeing filters in the Family Link app will allow people to block access to news, podcasts, and webpages on devices that have smart Assistant-enabled.