Google will ban third-party ads from targeting minors on the search engine and on YouTube as part of its mission to protect children under 18 who are using its services.
The third-party ads can no longer detect the minors' age, gender, or interests using the site.
Users under 18 will be given the option to request their images to be removed from the image results in Google.
Meanwhile, minors who upload videos on YouTube will have their settings changed to private automatically.
Google Protects Children from Ads
The search giant's changes are similar to Facebook's ad restriction introduced in July. Facebook announced that Instagram accounts for minors under 16 will be set to private by default. This means that users have to change their settings manually if they want their profiles to be public, according to The Verge.
Facebook also banned ads targeted at minors based on their online activity and interest, but they are still allowed to target users based on their age, gender, and location, according to TechCrunch.
Google stated that it decided to make these changes based on the regulations introduced in some countries and that it wants users to have more control and consistent product experiences globally.
The search giant also stated that requesting an image removed from the site's image search won't remove it from the web entirely, but it will give users more control over the spread of their images.
Aside from changing ad targeting, Google will also expand its restrictions to stop age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to minors.
The search giant is also reportedly making numerous other changes to its services for minors. One of which is its SafeSearch option that will now be on by default for all users under 18 years old.
The SafeSearch feature blocks explicit results from showing in searches, and Google will also add it to the web browser on smart displays.
Also, users under 18 years old will no longer be able to turn Location History on in their Google Account settings.
The search giant said that the setting is already off by default on all accounts, but only those above 18 years of age can change it.
As for Google Assistant-enabled smart devices, the search giant will block minors from accessing news, podcasts, and web content with explicit content. This will be available in the coming months, according to SEL.
Google decided to be more strict with how minors access websites after Tinder discovered that they can sign in on dating sites easily.
YouTube Changes for Minors
On YouTube, autoplay will be off by default for children under 18. If it gets turned on, a reminder will pop up about the dangers of autoplay on minors.
YouTube Kids will be getting a new autoplay option, and it will also be off by default. There will also be new resources available for minors and their parents that will explain the data practices of the site, and they will be available in the next few months.
The search giant will roll out the features in different time scales. The option to request the removal of images from Google's image search and the changes to YouTube's video privacy settings are launching in the next couple of weeks.
The changes in SafeSearch, the new restrictions on ad targeting of children, and the option to block web content on Google Assistant-enabled devices are rolling out in the next few months.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster