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Internet

Google reported to work on accounts for children under 13

US Internet giant Google has reportedly been working on plans to allow youngsters under the age of 13 to open online accounts. Media reports said parents would be granted full control over how the services were used.

Media reports suggested Tuesday that Google was considering making online accounts available for children under the age of 13.

The Financial Times reported the US company had been working on a special version of its video-sharing site, YouTube, adapted for youngsters, and was mulling other child-friendly accounts for services such as Gmail, Google's free Web-based email service.

The report said parents would have control over how the services were used, with full access to content collected by their kids. Parents would be able to erase whatever content they deemed inappropriate.

Treading carefully

A US law called Children's Online Privacy Protection Act imposes strict controls on the collection and use of information about children under 13.

Is Google out of control?

The Wall Street Journal said Google's efforts were partly driven by the fact that some parents were already trying to create accounts for their children, and the company wanted to make the process easier and compliant with the rules.

For Google, accounts for youngsters under 13 would be a very useful tool for building brand loyalty royalty from an early age.

Google spokesman Peter Barron told Reuters he would not comment on what he called "rumors and speculation."

hg/nz (Reuters, dpa)

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