According to a new report from The Information, though, Google is gearing up to unleash its services on an even younger audience. Currently, the company’s age limit on those who can officially obtain a Google in the U.S. is 13 years old. Google is preparing features like a child-friendly version of YouTube that will allow kids to obtain their own accounts and an online dashboard that allows parents to keep tabs on their kids goings-on while they are online. Google hopes these features will attract more children onto its sprawling web platform, which also includes products like Gmail and Chrome.
Extending its reach in a such a way means Google has to fight to comply with Coppa, a federal law that calls for (among other things) the strict and thoughtful handling of data collected from children. This whole rigmarole is made trickier by the fact that there are really two kinds of Google accounts: ones created from a traditional computer that require a user to provide their age (whether they’re honest about it is another story entirely) and ones created from Android devices that don’t have ages tied to them. The Information reports that you won’t be able to create one of those age-less mobile Google accounts before long, though it’s unclear how Google’s going to address about the ones that already exist.