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Why Google Is Disabling Kids' Gmail Accounts 228

Posted by timothy
from the handicapping-them-was-considered-gauche dept.
theodp writes "The Washington Post's Elizabeth Flock managed to hold Google's feet to the fire and get an explanation of sorts for why it's making kids cry by disabling their Gmail accounts after years of use. Giving 12-year-olds access to Gmail — unless they are using Google Apps for Education accounts through their school — is proving to be as formidable a task for Google as making renewable energy cheaper than coal. But what about that viral 'Dear Sophie' commercial, asked Flock, in which a father creates a Gmail account for his baby daughter and uses it to send her photos, videos, and messages that chronicle her growing up? 'The implied understanding,' replied a Google spokesman, 'is that the girl in the story does not have access to the account, but that she will have access to it "someday."'"
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Why Google Is Disabling Kids' Gmail Accounts

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  • Who's fault is it? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sidthegeek (626567) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @04:49PM (#38418864)
    Is it Google's fault? Or COPPA's? Or both?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2011 @04:54PM (#38418886)
      Children shouldn't be on the internet anyway. They should be readin the bible.
      • by martin-boundary (547041) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @05:11PM (#38418970)
        No need. There's an app for that.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        As an atheist, I wholeheartedly support this idea. If all kids were forced to read the entire Bible before they turn 13, and pass the exam on textual knowledge - why, that would probably do more to reduce the influence of Christianity than efforts of all the various skeptic and secular humanist groups in the country. ~

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by howardd21 (1001567)

          As an atheist, I wholeheartedly support this idea. If all kids were forced to read the entire Bible before they turn 13, and pass the exam on textual knowledge - why, that would probably do more to reduce the influence of Christianity than efforts of all the various skeptic and secular humanist groups in the country. ~

          As a christian, I would take that deal everyday. When the bible is just read, and understood in it's context to say what it says, it makes more sense than science falsely called, and much more sense than the philosophers of this world.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:06AM (#38421434)

            I was watching Venture Bros with a friend, who is a lukewarm Christian , the other day. He was talking about Brock Samson. It went like this.

            I said "Samson, like from the Bible".
            He said "What?".
            I said "Magic Hair, Jawbone of an ass, Paid his gambling debts with foreskins?"
            He said "WHAT? That's not in the bible, you're making that shit up, right?".

            Bible stories FTW.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by WNight (23683)

            The bible makes sense? Sure it does. And so does the Koran, so they say. In fact, pretty much any ridiculous belief has a ton of supporters.

            Never anyone reputable though. I mean, look at the people who say that - idiots who say things like " ... science falsely called, and ...".

            I know you get brownie points for trying to convince people of the existence of the sky fairy, and most-importantly you feel like it validates your belief, but it's crap. The book, the teachings, and the institutionalized ignorance r

      • by msobkow (48369)

        Screw that! The kids should be toiling in the fields... :p

    • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @05:17PM (#38419016)

      Seems to me that Google should startup a 'Google Kids' to handle things like this in compliance with COPPA. Once the child reaches 12, they can convert it over to a regular Gmail account.

      Parents can administrate, while at the same time teaching their kids how to behave on the internet, teachers can email assignments, etc. As long as control rests solely with the parent, I see no issue with something like that.

      • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @05:33PM (#38419110) Homepage Journal

        Actually - COPPA needs to die. Parents are supposed to be a child's first line of defense. Then the courts. Simply mandating that kids can't access and/or must be monitored by a provider such as Google is simply asinine. As a parent, and as a grandparent, I'd cheefully counsel my kids how to circumvent COPPA bullshit.

        "See the box, where they ask how old you are? What's the minimum age? Alright, Honey, just add 3 or 6 to that minimum age, so your "birth year" is going to be 19xx, alright? Yeah, I know you're not 20 yet, but THEY don't know that!"

        • by Defenestrar (1773808) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @06:13PM (#38419386)

          I think teaching how to circumvent COPPA is dangerous without teaching when to do so. There are a lot of age verification things out there on the internet and they're not all for the same reason. COPPA is for preventing a child from disclosing too much personal information for use by another party without informed consent of the parent (i.e. marketing and solicitation). I think teaching a child not to give out their real birth date online is a very valuable lesson. (Birth date and state are enough info for an accurate guess at a social security number [msn.com], and the region can probably be obtained with a reasonable chance of success for a child (lower chance to have moved from the area of birth)). Other age verifiers are for content, some websites self regulate, others follow third party guidelines (e.g. ESRB). I expect to be the final word in what content my children permissibly access on the internet, but I do appreciate the age checkers as a sign for younger children to stop and ask permission. Older children are going to do their own thing according to what you've taught them up to that point.

          Also, I've always been surprised that the age submission check is considered a valid method for absolving an entity of COPPA's requirements considering the lengths they have to go through if they do know they are dealing with a child. It seems rather trivial in comparison to these requirements: [wikipedia.org]

          Website operators must use reasonable procedures to ensure they are dealing with the child's parent. These procedures may include:

          obtaining a signed form from the parent via postal mail or facsimile;

          accepting and verifying a credit card number;

          taking calls from parents on a toll-free telephone number staffed by trained personnel;

          email accompanied by digital signature;

          email accompanied by a PIN or password obtained through one of the verification methods above.

          Operators who follow one of these procedures acting in good faith to a request for parental access are protected from liability under federal and state law for inadvertent disclosures of a child's information to someone who purports to be a parent.

          • by Vaphell (1489021) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @06:28PM (#38419496)

            You have it backwards. Having ridiculous laws is much worse than not having laws at all. Ridiculous laws will be broken and this is what undermines the very respect for the law.
            Also protecting the precious snowflakes at all costs has dire consequences when they meet the harsh bitch called life completely unprepared.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Defenestrar (1773808)

              You have it backwards. Having ridiculous laws is much worse than not having laws at all. Ridiculous laws will be broken and this is what undermines the very respect for the law. Also protecting the precious snowflakes at all costs has dire consequences when they meet the harsh bitch called life completely unprepared.

              Backwards? I think I was pointing out how ridiculous the requirements for age verification were in the light that a company is exempt merely by allowing for a user submitted, unverifiable, age. The law allowed a dead easy loophole for plausible deniability while setting up a straightforward behavioral conditioning teaching the user to hit refresh, lie, and open the cage door to the cheese.

              However, this law does work the way it was intended to. The children can't break it, it's not targeted at them, but a

          • by Thing 1 (178996)

            I think teaching how to circumvent COPPA is dangerous without teaching when to do so.

            Yeah, I'm thinking teaching our legislators how to write intelligent laws is the least dangerous approach. Barring that, teaching my children that the reason I teach them about the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and God is the reason I am teaching them to question authority, is the appropriate response.

        • by theshowmecanuck (703852) on Monday December 19, 2011 @01:34AM (#38421550) Journal

          I don't think you 'get' COPPA [ftc.gov]. It doesn't say an internet service needs to monitor your children. It is saying in essence the exact opposite. It says that they have to disclose what data they collect, who they share it with, limit the data collected to only what is necessary to use the service, can't collect any information about the child unless the parent gives explicit permission. If the parent gives permission to collect the data, it allows the parents to tell the service to stop and to delete the child's data. It also lists other rules on what data can be collected and how it is shared... but read it yourself I'm not going to list it all here. The only thing that pisses me off is that I can't stipulate the same conditions to Google for myself.

          COPPA is a tool to aid the parent and COPPA is anathema to everything Google is about: collecting data. Data is the life blood of the company; literally. It is easier for them to just say no to those under 13 than to spend a ton of money to set up the required controls. Especially, as I think, most parents are likely to chose not to allow their child's data to be collected nor shared (and I can't blame them one bit). And it is the data that is important to Google, not the child. It is with the data that they generate their revenue. So in a nutshell, they have two choices: 1) spend a ton of money to create and maintain the controls to meet the COPPA requirements and keep children using GMail and other services (which also eat up bandwidth and disk space, both of which also cost money) without gaining any revenue generating data from them in return, or 2) simply bar children from using Google services. Option 2 is way cheaper. Remember in a business the number one rule is that money coming in MUST be greater than money going out. Google is just following their number one rule. You libertarians and neocons can't possibly argue Google's position in this respect, can you? Hell, even business friendly liberals.. yes they exist... can't argue either.

          Financially the choice they made makes much more sense for their business (and they are a business, not your cuddly free email provider). Remember, the only reason Google cares at all about the child or anyone else who puts their personal data on a Google server is because they put their personal data on a Google server.

          You can try and say it is up to the parent to monitor the child which is a good starting point, but what are you going to do when the biggest services tell you they are going to store and possibly share (at their discretion not yours) your child's data and there is nothing you can do about it? Tell your child not to use the internet? Good luck with that. Seriously... good luck. The rest of us understand that you can say no, but if they can get access to the internet, anywhere, they are going to start using it. The library, a friends house, wherever. Especially if all their friends are using it, and then it will happen no matter what you say or do (unless you are one of those who chose to live in the backwoods of Idaho because 'the government is out to get you'... but if that's the case, you have more serious problems, and it ain't the government). So you might as well have them use it at home. And it would be nice to know who knows their name and where they live, and better yet, tell them to mind their own business.

          As to how to verify the parent:

          Access Verification
          At a parent's request, operators must disclose the general kinds of personal information they collect online from children (for example, name, address, telephone number, email address, hobbies), as well as the specific information collected from children who visit their sites. Operators must use reasonable procedures to ensure they are dealing with the child's parent before they provide access to the child's specific information.

          They can use a variety of methods to

      • Parents can administrate, while at the same time teaching their kids how to behave on the internet, teachers can email assignments, etc. As long as control rests solely with the parent, I see no issue with something like that.

        And how would Google know if they are dealing with a parent or a child during initial setup without providing yet more information than I'm currently putting out there on the web. I'm a parent and grandparent as well and I have no accounts on social sites that I use. When asked to en

        • I doubt you could verify something like that.

          But even if you could, it's a complete waste of time. "The children" don't need to be protected from every little thing.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          Ask them to quickly rattle off some stupid age appropriate trivia? if its one thing we older folks have its too damned much stupid trivia, like "name three lame songs from early MTV" (my answer, Safety dance, Video killed the radio star, I always feel like somebody's watching me) or "What was the name of Captain Kangaroo's sidekick? "(Mr Greenjeans). See how easy that is? We have so damned much lame ass trivia to draw on it ain't even funny. Make it multiple choice with different stupid trivia each time and

    • To use Google services you have to agree to some type of terms. A contract with a minor is not enforceable in the U.S. Google has to have an adult involved somehow.
  • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @04:54PM (#38418888) Homepage

    Like every 9 year old on MySpace ever did... just put in the wrong birthyear and everything stays cool.

  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @05:01PM (#38418916) Homepage

    Seems a good lesson that often in life one must tell lies of varying degrees. Fibbing about age is one of those.

    Many websites and services (email, web hosting / blog sites, facebook, etc) have age stipulations ranging from 13 to 21, which effectively makes much of the web useless to young people unless they lie.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      That's not usually the site's fault, that's usually legislation like COPPA which makes it untenable.

      • Absolutely agree. Not faulting the websites, services, etc for the age restrictions. Google is in a no-win situation due to the law.

        Effectively creating a "don't ask, don't tell" situation, which seems to be very commonplace in life. Many activities are technically restricted, forbidden, etc ... but overlooked as long as both sides play along ...

        An example is Facebook one user / one account policy - long as the user keeps their duplicate accounts / usernames on the down-low, and don't cause problems, Facebo

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2011 @05:46PM (#38419198)

      Just wait until they sue the kids for violating the law meant to protect them, under the exact same law.

      And then have 'em tried as adults, just for good measure.

      Don't forget to tell your 13-year old kids it's illegal to make n00d self-shots in the mirror with their iPhones. They will be in possession of extremely illegal content one minute after their 14th birthday, be tried as adults and registered as sex offenders for life.

      Remember: all the things we used to do when we were young are now illegal. All.

  • by stasike (1063564) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @05:05PM (#38418940)

    One day my pre-teen-aged daughter wanted to set up an avatar for her Google mail account, like her best friend had. A nice pony or whatever. So we have opened the settings and one of things that Google wanted to know was the date of birth. After naively filling in the date (*not* the real number, but still way low age) ... poooof ... the account was gone. And mind you, this was account my daughter has created in an "IT" class. In my country we do not have educational accounts the article talks about.

    In one second the account is there, the next ... gone.
    Google wanted scan of my ID or something.
    YOU ARE NOT GONNA GET IT GOOGLE!!! You Do. Not. Need. A. Copy. Of. My. Passport.

    So we have created another account with a slightly different name, but my daughter has been upset for quite a long time. Still is, in fact. And I had to explain why Google are such ... bloody morons.

    The same day I have made backup of my entire Google mail account. I do not trust them anymore that they won't pull the same stunt with MY personal account.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2011 @05:16PM (#38419004)

      You Do. Not. Need. A. Copy. Of. My. Passport.

      Actually.. legally.. they do. If you want access to that account again, you can either verify that her parent has authorized the kid to be scaped and indexed and acknowledge that your kid can receive the accompanying advertising, or you can create another anonymous account to have similar advertising, scraping, analyzing done to her anyway. In one case, she gets her account back; in the other case, Google gets their data anyway.

      As much as I'm for privacy, it's not like providing a copy of your passport is providing anything that Google doesn't have on you anyway. They don't even need _your_ google account to link it to, do they (not sure)? They just, legally, need to be sure that a parent/guardian has allowed Google to analyze their kid. US laws, if not your country's laws.

      So perhaps you should explain to your daughter one of two things:
      1. Your resentment of someone verifying that you are you, and you have control over your kid
      2. US laws designed to protect the privacy of kids, and how they're hurting her. Perhaps you can go into how your own country's privacy laws work.

      • by Mashiki (184564)

        So perhaps you should explain to your daughter one of two things:
        1. Your resentment of someone verifying that you are you, and you have control over your kid
        2. US laws designed to protect the privacy of kids, and how they're hurting her. Perhaps you can go into how your own country's privacy laws work.

        Simple, in countries like Canada. The privacy act says that the individual is protected because the individual has the final say on their information, not the government, or a company. He has the right to be upset, he also has the right to be upset that a company 'wants' a copy of his passport.

        US laws are broken, plenty of other countries like your northern neighbors have found simple elegant solutions to these problems which don't require handing away personally identifiable information.

      • US laws, as usual, especially regarding children, are fucking inane.

      • Having had this happen to my 12yo daughter as well (and also refusing to provide Google with any form of ID, for what I would have thought were obvious reasons) I'd say the real issue was that Google provided no means to back up data -- it was really a case of my daughter unwittingly entering her birth date, and then bam! all data gone for good.

        I understand that Google has an obligation under US law to prevent kids under 13 from using email accounts. But since this is clearly new legislation that wasn't in

      • They signed the "safe haven" contract. This means they will have to obey the law of the country they are providing the service in. If that law lets minors have e-mail accounts or does not legally require a copy of a passport or anything, Google has to abide to that law. This is silly and to me, it's proof Google does not abide to the "safe haven" policy. Don't be evil? Don't be silly......
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Galestar (1473827)
      Why do you blame Google? They are only following these stupid laws about children under 13. They didn't write the laws, blame the people who did.
    • by DogDude (805747)
      I do not trust them anymore that they won't pull the same stunt with MY personal account.

      Why would you trust that they wouldn't do that in the first place? It's a FREE account. You get what you pay for.
    • A similar thing happened to me. My finance was signing my daughter up for a game when she put in her actual age. This purged her account completely, which was really annoying. I drilled into everyone's heads that they should always lie about their age on the Internet, which goes against my general policy of honesty.

      The moral of the story is that laws have unintended consequences.
    • Google wanted scan of my ID or something.
      YOU ARE NOT GONNA GET IT GOOGLE!!! You Do. Not. Need. A. Copy. Of. My. Passport.

      The people they have actually checking those scans have basically no way of verifying their authenticity. Scan your passport and then photoshop it to be full of lies and send that to them. They will be happy and you will be happy.

      • The people they have actually checking those scans have basically no way of verifying their authenticity. Scan your passport and then photoshop it to be full of lies and send that to them. They will be happy and you will be happy.

        Do not do that. Do not lie. Do not give them an official reason to shut down your own gmail account in addition to your kid's (or send the black planes after you, and put you into Gitmo, as a Non-American, you know it would be the first place we'd send you. Right?). Stay on the higher moral ground. Send them a copy of your passport, but black out all the information, all the serial numbers, except for your birth year and the specific gmail account you want them to reactivate.

        For all we know, passports and i

    • by tftp (111690)

      The same day I have made backup of my entire Google mail account. I do not trust them anymore that they won't pull the same stunt with MY personal account.

      On the other hand, this is a convenient and completely automated way to delete an account :-)

      I still have a GMail account, but it is devoid of messages, and if anything new shows up it will be instantly transferred via POP3 and deleted from the server. I did that when Google started randomly deleting accounts for "wrong" name or something. They said

    • YOU ARE NOT GONNA GET IT GOOGLE!!! You Do. Not. Need. A. Copy. Of. My. Passport.

      How about sending them something like this [paulnoll.com]? Or something like that [hostingprod.com], but instead of blanking out the birth year, you'd leave that year intact, but blank out the month, the day, and pretty much everything else that could possibly be used to identify you?

      This could work well too for privacy-related petition drives. Petition your National government for more privacy, and just leave enough information to infer your nationality. And for those of us in the US who'd like to petition our State Senators, just leave y

  • So the government passes a law, which prohibits children from using email service. So the children have to write letters the old fashioned way, and send them via the US Postal Service . . . which is owned by the government! No conflict of interest here!

    On the good side, being that so many couples tend to have children, a lot of folks might be pissed off at this law. And then they might start putting more political pressure for scrutiny on laws that are being passed by the government to regulate the Inte

  • by Ron Bennett (14590) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @05:32PM (#38419106) Homepage

    In reply to some comments / sentiments in this thread regarding how quick Google is to delete accounts, be wary of creating a Google+ account / user profile.

    There have been many reports of Google+ accounts being flagged for various reasons (username choosen, duplicate acct, complaints from others, etc) resulting in the linked services, such as, GMail being suspended / terminated too.

    Imho, avoid creating a Google+ account - not so easy now that Google is rolling that out across services, so the next best option is not create a profile; leave it as empty as possible. And keep services separate ... don't use the same Google+ account for GMail as one does for other services (ie. YouTube).

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      That's why I deleted all my youtube accounts a few weeks back because Google insisted I link everything to anything about me and couldn't opt out anymore, hmm no thanks which really sucked as one of the channels was pretty big but so be it. So ATM im n a replace google search mission. I guess Dogpile and Duck Duck Go as suggested a few days ago will do for now.

      I deleted my Facebook about 4 years ago since they wanted more now I see Google is the new minister of information which doesn't take much to be corr

      • by Thing 1 (178996)
        Why you still have slashdot account?
        • by tftp (111690)

          Why you still have slashdot account?

          He explained that. Slashdot doesn't want to know anything about the user except a login name and password, which are both random.

          You could, of course, compile a user's profile from his posts and comments. However few people are that much concerned; it's in the domain of governments and secret services, and they don't care about poor peons. Businesses, on the other hand, wring those same peons dry.

    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      Do these same rules apply if you use them to run a domain Google Apps account? I would think that with an apps account, you take the responsibility on yourself. Admittedly, this will cost you about $10 per year for the domain, but you do get the benefit of not being tied to a specific email provider.
    • don't use the same Google+ account for GMail as one does for other services (ie. YouTube).

      This is good advice, but it's going to end badly if you do that.

      I can't convey the annoyance of having to switch account every time I click on a like button, or go watch a youtube video, or add something to my calendar, or do something else on one of the Google sites.

      It's better than it used be, a little bit, but Google is becoming so much more pervasive in everything I do already, it has become a huge annoyance that I would gladly pay ten times over what I'm already paying to have it all go away (And yes,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2011 @05:39PM (#38419150)

    Hi All,

    I too was put off by Google's disabling of my son's account, but I decided to give Google a chance and see if they would be reasonable. I sent a note to them in the only way I could come up with, by writing it (by hand on a paper), scanning together, my ID, and my note which was an explanation that my son was really under age, and that as his parent, I was the "holder" of his account, but he was using it under my supervision. I sent the note to their photo ID link, and his account was reinstated. I assume that they actually read the note, and allowed this, but it is possible they have an automated process that accepts any photo you send as ID, and automatically reinstates the account. If they do, shame on them. If they don't, I applaud them for being reasonable.

    Rob

  • It seems like a lot of people are unhappy with Google's FREE service. If you don't like how Google is running THEIR business, start your own or find one that is age appropriate for kids. I fail to understand why people get mad when they can't get exactly what they want from a company that is offering their services for no additional charge to the user. If the users were paying something, ie AOL, then i would understand.
    • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @06:01PM (#38419284)

      "Free" doesn't mean "exempt from criticism." That said, they're also free to not listen to you.

      And I think this is really the fault of idiotic "think of the children" laws.

      • by Maestro4k (707634)

        And I think this is really the fault of idiotic "think of the children" laws.

        It is, COPPA's requirements are beyond onerous, COPPA is entirely responsible for the whole 13+ or go away divide on the Internet. If someone's 13+ then you don't have to do anything special. Under 13 you need special parental permission with proof of the parent's age (that's the whole reason they have to have a scan of an ID to reinstate the account, along with the parent's statement that they're the actual account holder allowing their child to use it under their supervision) to collect any data on the

        • Most "child protection" laws these days are bad solutions to untenable problems that involve parents shirking responsibility to the government and corporations for the supervision of their kids, and the overt dismissal of children's and teen's responsibility for themselves, which should not be legislated by arbitrary rules and numbers.

          I can name dozens of examples, but this isn't the time or the place.

    • by rastos1 (601318)
      Every e-mail I send from my gmail account shows up in the recipient's inbox as From: ....@gmail.com. Am I doing free advertising for them or what?
      • Every host I send data through on the internet has a reverse lookup with the name of my ISP. Am I paying to advertise for them or what?
  • by Chrontius (654879) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @06:03PM (#38419306)
    So, for al the reason Google suggests Chromebooks, how do I let my (hypothetical) kid use a Chromebook without giving them access to my email?

    Google Apps for Education sounds great, but I've yet to run into a school using it.
  • by loufoque (1400831) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @07:34PM (#38419884)

    When I was ten (1997), I had an account on virtually all website/email services that were big (relatively) at the time. There was never question of deleting my account because I was a kid.

    Stripping kids of the right to use that kind of service is the same as stripping kids from having the right to use the Internet. This is preposterous and stupid.
    American people, get rid of that law.

    • When I was ten (1997), I had an account on virtually all website/email services that were big (relatively) at the time. There was never question of deleting my account because I was a kid.

      Probably because they didn't know you were a kid? The only time this comes up is when there are problems, and much of this is automated now. Yay for progress.

      Stripping kids of the right to use that kind of service is the same as stripping kids from having the right to use the Internet.

      Do children have rights? I thought most of those came when you were of age to vote and serve one's country, able to sign a contract etc. To be clear I'm not a fan of these laws or requirements but what right is it to use a service offered by a private party, especially when they're a minor? What right is it to violate that private party's terms of serv

      • by loufoque (1400831)

        Yes, children have rights, independently of being adults and having the right to vote.

        A service provider is not allowed to do arbitrary age discrimination. This has nothing to do with your lousy home analogy.

  • This law is part of your broken legal system, not anyone else's. Why should it be foisted upon the rest of the planet?*

    Several years ago, my son got his first android phone, the G1. He asked my permission to lie about his age to set up an account. I was already aware that Google tries to do this and said OK. He is now old enough to be "legal" and has come to no harm. This was in spite of various crazies advising me to put Net Nanny or some other corporate nonsense on my PC and then not allowing him to

  • Google doesn’t allow users who are under the age of 13 to have Google Accounts, unless they are using Google Apps for Education accounts through their school.

    And hoes does Google handle this for home schooled children?

  • by KeithH (15061) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @11:17PM (#38421062)
    Facebook is full of underage users and lets them "go legit" when they turn 13. As a consequence, they've captured this audience and all of the adults that they'll grow into (as well as a goodly number of their parents). Google+ requires that users be eighteen. That's ridiculous. Ostensibly, it is temporary but I've seen no suggestion from Google that this is any sort of priority. This is why Google+ will never challenge Facebook. When Amazon and Facebook merge, they'll rule the world. How very unfortunate.
  • by north.coaster (136450) on Sunday December 18, 2011 @11:19PM (#38421070) Homepage
    Let me get this straight... here we have some parents who created Gmail accounts for their young children, fully aware that this was in violation of Google's teams of service. Then they became upset when Google deleted the accounts. How is this Google's fault? Clearly these so-called adults are missing the whole point. They lied about their kids' ages, and got caught. And instead of accepting responsibility for breaking the rules, which would be the mature thing to do, they got mad at Google. It's disappointing that these parents set such a bad example for their children.

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