Search engine giant Google has revealed its plans to make its services more child-friendly, as more and more kids today are getting exposed to non-kid-friendly technology.
The company plans to roll out the new version in an attempt to be “fun and safe for children.”
According to Google’s Pavni Diwanj, the company will make search engine safe for kids 12 years old and younger. It will give parents tools to monitor their children’s actions.
“The big motivator inside the company is everyone is having kids, so there’s a push to change our products to be fun and safe for children,” Diwanji explained in a statement, the vice president of engineering charged with handling the new initiative.
“We want to be thoughtful about what we do, giving parents the right tools to oversee their kids’ use of our products. We want kids to be safe, but ultimately it’s about helping them be more than just pure consumers of tech, but creators, too,” he added.
The tech firm will likely develop specific versions of its search, YouTube, Gmail, and Chrome products.
Though Google did not announce the timeline for the rollout, some industry watchers believe the move can yield promising results.
As much as all parents want their kids to stay away from smartphones, tablets, or laptops, it’s nearly impossible these days to totally block access to the Internet. And, even experts know that. Google executives claim that this new version they are working on will be a full-time effort.
Children’s Online Privacy
According to the law, websites and services need to get permission from parents to legally be accessed and used by children under 13. So far, the Federal Trade Commission’s Children Online Privacy Protection Act has charged about 20 companies for collecting information from young users.
Many services, such as Facebook, do not allow people under the age limit to use their websites. There are several websites, however, that are easy to access for kids. Without age requirement, using those kinds of unsafe sites is as easy as getting a candy from a store.
Young children seem like an unlikely target market for many tech companies, but Google wants to step up and become a leader that people would follow.
They believe that when it comes to the Internet, children need different features than adults. These include more advanced filtering systems and privacy controls. In many ways, these are an essential move for the company.
Google has a strong history of encouraging kids to get involved in science and tech through a variety of programs.