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Fewer ads, more secure content and more

Fewer ads, more secure content and more

Google is making changes to create a safer place for kids and teens on the Internet with a list of new features and tools.

Over the past year, both parents and children are moving towards virtual workspaces, creating a greater dependence on the Internet in their daily lives. As a result, parents, educators, politicians and privacy experts have expressed concern about creating a safe environment for young people.

Advertising changes

Google is extending safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from appearing to teens. Ads are blocked based on age, gender, and interests of people under 18. These changes will begin to roll out globally over the coming months with the goal of ensuring that they deliver age-appropriate experiences for ads.

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To give minors control over their digital footprint

Google offers removal options for people who use Google Search, but recognizes that children are at particular risk when it comes to checking their images on the Internet.

Google plans to introduce a new policy that allows anyone under the age of 18 or their parent or guardian to request the removal of their images from Google’s image results. Removing it from the SERP does not remove it from the Internet, but it does reduce exposure.

Improving the web experience for children and teens

YouTube Upload Options

By default, the upload option for teens on YouTube is the most private option. Google will also offer additional security measures and training in commercial content.

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As part of this change, YouTube will begin to remove overly commercial content – content that encourages children to spend money, from YouTube Kids. YouTube provides an example of content that focuses on product packaging.

YouTube also updates the information displayed on controlled accounts and “made for kids” content to be very clear when a video contains paid campaigns.

YouTube also takes a break from bedtime and autoplay reminders for users under 18. An autoplay option is added to YouTube Kids – though disabled by default – to allow parents to decide what’s right for their families.

Location History Updates

Placement history is disabled by default, and children with controlled accounts do not have the option to turn it on. This will soon be extended to all users under the age of 18 globally, meaning placement history will remain off for all young people.

Google Play Updates

Google is launching a new security section that lets parents know which apps follow family policies. Apps need to reveal how they use the data they collect, making it easier for parents to decide if an app is right for their child before downloading or using it.

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Changes to Google Workspace for Education

When children use the Internet for schoolwork, there have been concerns about protecting this experience. Google has worked to improve the ability of administrators to tailor experiences to their users, e.g. Restrict student activity on YouTube and enable SafeSearch technology by default for all users.

Safe search

Google has options to prevent people from viewing mature content that they have not searched for. Protected Search filters out explicit results when enabled, and is already turned on by default for users who are logged in under the age of 13 and who have accounts managed by Family Link. In the coming months, Google plans to expand this technology to users under 18 years of age.

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Updates to Google Assistant

Google plans to introduce new standard protections to prevent mature content from appearing to a child.

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