London: For the first time, internet giant Google is to open Gmail, YouTube and some of its other services to children under the age of 13, according to media reports. Google is planning to offer its services to under-13s, however, parents will be able to control what they can see and do, 'The Times' quoted a source close to the company as saying.
Parents would be able to restrict access to certain services through a special "dashboard". They would also be able to control what marketing information is gathered from children who use Google's services, the report said. The company's plans were first reported by the technology website 'The Information'.
"We do not comment on rumours and speculation," a Google spokeperson said. Google and Facebook currently do not offer their services to children under 13, but many already access web services, such as social networks, by posing as adults or logging on anonymously. The age requirement exists because of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, a US federal law that puts limits on how information about kids under 13 is collected.