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”.