Online search company Google is reported to be working on developing versions of its products that would be designed solely for the use of children.
American news provider The Wall Street Journal has reported that the firm is planning on releasing new versions of some of its software – including Gmail and YouTube – that are specifically made for children aged 13 and younger, so that they can create Google accounts.
This move comes as part of the company’s strategy to increase its user base, but would require its law team to overcome a number of legal hurdles, as parents could be concerned about the content that their children may encounter.
At present, children under 13 are not permitted to create a Google account, but there is little in place to stop them lying about their age when it comes to entering a date of birth. Many estimate that a child-friendly version of the company’s popular programs would allow parents to have some control over what their children are exposed to online, as they would be able to set parameters on the information recorded.
Other online companies, such as social networking site Facebook, also utilise age restrictions, as the laws that govern the harvesting of data from children are much stricter than those focussing on adults.
Google, perhaps better known for keeping SEO companies alert, has yet to comment on these claims at the present time, with a UK-based spokeswoman outlining that this is just rumour and speculation.