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December 4, 2014

Google pushes kid-centric agenda

Versions of Chrome and YouTube for children under 12 in the pipeline.

By CBR Staff Writer

Google is planning to introduce child-friendly versions of its products, including Chrome and YouTube, for children under 12 starting from next year.

The search giant has not revealed any specific date for the release of its new venture, but the executives noted that it is a part of the company’s recent kid-centric efforts, which includes Maker Camp, Made with Code initiative and the Doodle 4 Google competition.

USA Today reported Google engineering VP Pavni Diwanji as saying: "The big motivator inside the company is everyone is having kids, so there’s a push to change our products to be fun and safe for children."

"We expect this to be controversial, but the simple truth is kids already have the technology in schools and at home. So the better approach is to simply see to it that the tech is used in a better way."

With the effort, Google is planning to improve user experience for kids and present them with search results they want to see.

According to USA Today, Google may come under scrutiny for luring and targeting users younger than 13 to drive up its revenue.

Previously, the Federal Trade Commission under its Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act fined Yelp $450,000 for failing to use a functional age screen in its ratings app.

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Diwanji added: "We want to enable supervision but not be regimental."

"We want to lay the foundation right, and then make sure every single part of Google is great for kids. They are the future, so why not give them the tools to let them create it."

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