Google and YouTube roll out new protections for teens
Google and YouTube are introducing new safety protections for users under 18, according to company blog posts Tuesday.
Why it matters: Google joins Facebook-owned Instagram in changing privacy and advertising policies for younger users as regulators across the globe scrutinize how Big Tech affects children.
Google changes in the coming months include:
- A new policy allowing anyone under 18, or their parent or guardian, to request removal of their images from Google Image search results.
- Blocking ad targeting based on the age, gender or interests of people under 18.
- Users under 18 will not have the ability to turn on location history (which is off by default).
- SafeSearch, which filters out explicit results, will be turned on for existing users under 18 and will be the default setting for teens creating new accounts.
- Apps will be required to disclose how they use data as part of a new safety section for Google Play, which will also highlight which apps follow Google's family policies.
Meanwhile, YouTube changes include:
- Removing "overly commercial" videos from YouTube Kids, which YouTube says could be content that focuses solely on product packaging or "directly encourages" kids to spend money.
- Adjusting the default upload setting to the most private option for users between 13 and 17, with private uploads only being seen by the user and whoever they choose.
- Turning on "take a break" and bedtime reminders by default for users 13-17, and turning autoplay off by default for the group (although they can turn it back on).
- Adding an autoplay option for YouTube Kids, but turning it off as the default setting in the app.
Flashback: Google agreed to pay a $170 million fine in 2019 to settle allegations from the Federal Trade Commission that YouTube violated children's privacy provisions.