Google is one of the biggest tech companies on the planet that owns and operates some of the most widely used online services, with Google Search undoubtedly being the flagship product. A senior executive from the company detailed plans to USA Today about kid-friendly versions of its popular products like YouTube, search and Chrome, which will be geared primarily towards children aged 12 and under.
Pavni Diwanji, the vice president of engineering, told USA Today that the big motivator behind this project in the company is “everyone having kids,” which is why there’s a push to make products safe and fun for children.
She says that Google expects this move to be controversial. Lets not forget that the FTC requires companies to obtain parental consent before children’s data can be used, and many of Google’s services track usage to target products, so there will be quite a few hoops to jump through.
Diwanji does say that parents will be in the loop as well. The company wants to be thoughtful about what it does and that includes “giving parents the right tools to oversee their kids’ use of our products.”
There’s a small room called the Kids Studio at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, where children of employees are encouraged to tinker with prototype projects. Some of these projects are expected to see the light of day come 2015, and it will really be interesting to see how Google can achieve this while ensuring that children aged 12 and under remain safe when using such online services.
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