Google boosts privacy protections for children on search and YouTube

10 August 2021, 15:34

Google boosts privacy protections for children on search and YouTube. Picture: PA

They are designed to give youngsters ‘more control over their digital footprint’.

Google has announced a raft of privacy changes for children who use its search engine and YouTube platform, designed to give minors “more control over their digital footprint”.

Among the measures, videos uploaded to YouTube by those under 18 will be set to private by default, meaning they can only be viewed by themselves and whomever they choose at first, though they can decide to adjust the settings if desired.

The video-sharing site will also switch its current settings to provide young users with break and bedtime reminders, as well as turning off autoplay features.

Meanwhile, Google is introducing new rules on Google Image search removals, enabling anyone under the age of 18 or their parent or guardian to request that their photo be taken down from results.

The tech giant said it will turn off location history, without the option to switch it back on, for child user accounts globally – a feature that was previously only limited to children with supervised accounts.

Elsewhere, Google plans to expand safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teenagers, and will block ad targeting based on the age, gender, or interests of people under 18, which will be rolled out to all Google products globally “over the coming months”.

The move comes ahead of new rules coming into effect in the UK from September.

The Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) Age Appropriate Design Code compels tech firms to make digital services safe for children from the ground up.

Baroness Kidron, chair of children’s safety group the 5Rights Foundation, said: “These steps are only part of what is expected and is necessary, but they establish beyond doubt that it is possible to build the digital world that young people deserve, and that when government takes action, the tech sector can and will change.”

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

Instagram Take A Break feature

Instagram will now tell users when to take a break from the app

Molly Russell

Molly Russell coroner challenges social media firms to help make internet safer

WhatsApp Disappearing Messages

WhatsApp expands disappearing messages tool

A young girl uses TikTok on a smartphone

Euro 2020 and sea shanties among TikTok’s highlights of the year

The Duke of Cambridge

William records audio walking tour for Apple

Virgin Media sign

Virgin Media TV services restored after power outage

Child on laptop

Social media a ‘conveyor belt’ for child abuse images, says NSPCC

Astronaut Tom Marshburn replaces a broken antenna (Nasa/AP)

Spacewalking astronauts avoid debris as they repair antenna

Virgin Media headquarters in Reading

Virgin Media customers unable to access some channels 10 hours after outage

Virgin Media sign

Virgin Media hit by TV service outage

Person using laptop

Christmas shoppers warned over fake online reviews

NHS app

NHS App is most downloaded free iPhone app this year


Tesla officially moves headquarters from California to Texas

Broadband research

Which street in the UK has the slowest broadband?

Laptop stock

Women’s safety campaigners launch petition to bolster Online Safety Bill

MI6 Chief Richard Moore speaks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London

Chinese spies are targeting the UK, warns MI6 chief