Weeks after, Google is doing the same for its services, including Google Search, YouTube, YouTube Kids, Google Assistant, and others. The company this morning announced a series of product and policy that will allow younger people to stay more private and protected online and others that will limit ad targeting.
The changes in Google’s case are even more expansive than those Instagram announced, as they span across an array of Google’s products instead of being limited to a single app. Though Congress has been pressing Google and otheron the negative impacts their services may have on children, not all changes being made are being required by law, Google says.
“While some of these updates directly address upcoming regulations, we’ve gone beyond what’s required by law to protect teens on Google and YouTube,” a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Many of these changes also extend beyond any current or upcoming regulation. We’re looking at ways to develop consistent product experiences, and user controls for kids and teens globally,” they added. In other words, Google is building in some changes based on where it believes the industry is going rather than where it is right now.
On YouTube, Google says it will “gradually” start adjusting the default upload setting to the most private option for users ages 13 to 17 in the weeks ahead, limiting the visibility ofwith, not the wider public. These won’t be prevented from changing the setting back to “public,” necessarily, but they will now have to make an explicit and intentional choice when doing so. YouTube will then , the company notes.
YouTube will also turn on its “take a break” and bedtime reminders by default for all users ages 13 to 17 and will turn off autoplay. Again, these changes are related to the default settings — users can disable the digital well-being features.
On YouTube’s platform for younger children, YouTube Kids, the company will also add an autoplay option, which is turned off autoplay by default, so parents will have toor not they want to use autoplay with their children. Later, parents will also be able to “lock” their default selection. The change puts the choice directly in parents’ hands after complaints from advocates, and some members of Congress suggested such an algorithmic feature was problematic.
YouTube will also remove “overly commercial content” from YouTube Kid, following increased pressure from consumer advocacy groups and childhood experts, who have long since argued that YouTube encourages kids to product packaging — like the famous “unboxing” videos. This could impact some of YouTube’s more prominent creators of videos for kids, like multi-millionaire Ryan’s Toy Review.(or rather, beg their parents to do so.) How YouTube will draw the line between acceptable and “overly commercial” content is less clear. Still, the company says it will, for example, remove videos that focus on
Elsewhere on Google, other changes impacting minors will also begin rolling out. In the weeks ahead, Google will introduce a new policy allowing anyone under 18, or a parent or guardian, to request the Image search results. This expands upon the existing “right to be forgotten” in the E.U. but will introduce new products and controls globally for kids and teenagers.
The company will make several adjustments to user accounts for people under 18. In addition to the changes to YouTube, Google will restrict access to adult content by enabling its SafeSearch filtering technology to all users under 13, managed by its Google set up new accounts.service. It will also allow SafeSearch for all users under 18, making this the new default for teens who
Google Assistant will enable SafeSearch protections on shared devices, like intelligent screens and. SafeSearch will be the default in school settings where for Education is used, and switching to Guest Mode and Incognito Mode web browsing will be turned off by default, as was recently announced.
Meanwhile,accounts, but children with supervised accounts now won’t enable it. will be extended to all users under 18 globally, meaning location can’t be allowed under the children are legal adults.
On, the company will launch a new section informing parents about which apps follow its Family’s policies, and app developers will have to disclose how their apps collect and use data. These features — partially inspired by Apple’s Privacy Labels — had already been detailed for Android developers before today.
Google’s parental control tools are also being expanded. Parents and guardians who are Family Linknews, podcasts, and access to webpages on Assistant-enabled intelligent devices. For advertisers, there are significant changes in store, too.
young teens and kids, Instagram still allowed targeting by age and gender. Google will not. The advertising changes will roll out globally in the “coming months,” the company says. All the changes across Google and YouTube will roll out globally in the and months.safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teens and block ad targeting based on factors like age, gender, or interests for users under 18. While Instagram introduced similar advertising changes, as ads will no longer leverage “interests” data for targeting