Google and its subsidiary YouTube are taking new measures to better protect children online, the two companies said. For example, videos that minors upload to YouTube are no longer visible to everyone by default. According to YouTube, this allows children to make a more conscious choice about their digital privacy.
YouTube will also send underage users reminders whether it is not time for a break or to go to bed. In addition, YouTube no longer turns on the ‘autoplay’ function for children by default.
This feature automatically plays videos in succession. Kids can turn this feature on themselves if they want. The company will also remove videos that are “too commercial” in YouTube Kids, the children’s environment on YouTube. This includes, for example, videos in which children are encouraged to spend money.
Google is going to make it easier for children and their parents or guardians to remove photos of children from the search engine. Anyone who wants to can submit an application to Google.
Under the new policy, such a request no longer needs to be justified. Google also turns on the SafeSearch function by default on the accounts of minors.
This feature filters out explicit content, such as pornographic images. Also, children under the age of 18 worldwide can no longer turn on their location history. In addition, Google wants to make it more transparent for users how the company handles children’s data.
In September 2019, Google paid another 170 million dollars to the American market watchdog Federal Trade Commission to settle a privacy case regarding YouTube. The video service collected personal data from children without their parents’ consent.