Google Ads To Block Targeting Based On Age, Gender, Interests For Kids

Google Ads in the coming months will expand the safeguards it has in place to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being served up to people under 18, as more schools, classes, and meetups are held online.

The changes that COVID-19 brought about in society worldwide have prompted Google to update its online policies focused on minors.

“Children are at particular risk when it comes to controlling their imagery on the internet,” Mindy Brooks, product and UX director of kids and families at Google, wrote in a post.

Those under 18, or their parents or guardians, will have the ability to request the removal of their images from search, for example.

While removing an image from Search doesn’t eliminate it from the web, Google believe this change will give young people more control of their images online.

Google Ads will expand safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teens, and the plan is to block ad targeting based on age, gender, or interests of people under 18.

In YouTube, Google will change the default upload setting to the most private option available for teens ages 13 to 17, and will prominently surface digital well-being features, and provide safeguards and education about commercial content.

The options, writes James Beser, director of product management of kids and family at YouTube, in a linked post, details changes such as adding an autoplay option on YouTube Kids and turning autoplay off by default in the app.

YouTube will launch parental controls in the YouTube Kids app, including the ability for a parent to choose the “locked” default autoplay setting. Changes are being made to commercial content, too.

The plan, for YouTube, includes removing overly commercial content from YouTube Kids, such as a video that only focuses on product packaging or directly encourages children to spend money.

Google’s post also focused on the location history feature, a account setting that the company says helps make its products more useful. It's already off by default for all accounts, and children with supervised accounts don’t have the option to turn on Location History. Nonetheless, Google took the safety feature another step by extending it to users under the age of 18 globally.


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