Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Why Google Is Disabling Kids' Gmail Accounts

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the handicapping-them-was-considered-gauche dept.

Google 228

theodp writes "The Washington Post's Elizabeth Flock managed to hold Google's feet to the fire and get an explanation of sorts for why it's making kids cry by disabling their Gmail accounts after years of use. Giving 12-year-olds access to Gmail — unless they are using Google Apps for Education accounts through their school — is proving to be as formidable a task for Google as making renewable energy cheaper than coal. But what about that viral 'Dear Sophie' commercial, asked Flock, in which a father creates a Gmail account for his baby daughter and uses it to send her photos, videos, and messages that chronicle her growing up? 'The implied understanding,' replied a Google spokesman, 'is that the girl in the story does not have access to the account, but that she will have access to it "someday."'"

cancel ×

228 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Who's fault is it? (5, Interesting)

sidthegeek (626567) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418864)

Is it Google's fault? Or COPPA's? Or both?

Re:Who's fault is it? (0, Troll)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418876)

It is Google's fault. They just don't want to responsibility (ie., don't spy on kids activity) that comes with it, but they're still advertising such use. They just bury that fact in terms of service not to get in trouble.

Re:Who's fault is it? (3, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418910)

I was wondering, do you think it would be more efficient if you could come in and tell us when something is not Google's fault? I'm just saying, it would probably save you some time, since the list of things that you think are their fault is clearly much longer.

Re:Who's fault is it? (2)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418988)

Agreed - the fault is on Google for not finding a better way to handle situations like this.

There are any number of ways they could have fixed the situation, or allowed for this sort of use with parental approval; instead, they went for the least common denominator "fuck you kid, come back when you're 18."

Re:Who's fault is it? (5, Informative)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419136)

You obviously completely misunderstand the issues at stake here.
Please read the following;
Children's Online Privacy Protection Act [wikipedia.org]

"fuck you kid, come back when you're 18."

The age is 13, not 18, and because of your ignorance,

"fuck you Moryath, come back when you know what you're talking about"

Re:Who's fault is it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419900)

Hey. Dickface. You got owned by Galestar, but you're too much of a faggot pussy to come back and eat your humble pie.

I bet you're a fuckup in real life, too.

Die.

Re:Who's fault is it? (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419122)

Yeah, I would be more ok with Google just saying "this isn't a service for children" if they didn't also make TV ads about children having Google accounts. Pick one or the other!

Re:Who's fault is it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420508)

well it WAS service for children but BEFORE government made http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children's_Online_Privacy_Protection_Act
so in a way it is more government's fault than Google's

Re:Who's fault is it? (3, Insightful)

Joe U (443617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420716)

Windows Live/Hotmail allows and encourages child accounts.

That leads me to a few ideas as to why Google won't comply with COPPA. The most likely one being that they just can't turn the marketing machine off.

Re:Who's fault is it? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418886)

Children shouldn't be on the internet anyway. They should be readin the bible.

Re:Who's fault is it? (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418970)

No need. There's an app for that.

Re:Who's fault is it? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420378)

How does that get app store approval? It sounds like it would violate the commandment to worship no other gods beside Jobs.

Re:Who's fault is it? (-1, Troll)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419154)

And practicing repeating the words "Obama is a Socialist"

Re:Who's fault is it? (-1, Offtopic)

tdelaney (458893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419236)

What's this "readin'"? Readin' only leads to them gettin' edumacated, an' we don' want that! Cos then they might go an' learn stuff what the bible don' say.

Kids should be learnin' th' bible the only proper way - rote learnin' till they can quote a few select phrases what is gonna teach them infidels an' devil-worshippers the way o' the Lord!

Re:Who's fault is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420604)

I wonder how Sir Issac Newton would look on your ignorant stereotypes? Must be nice to throw people under the bus if they don't align themselves with your every ideal. Simple motherfucker.

Re:Who's fault is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419298)

So they can talk to an imaginary strange old man in heir bed room!?!?! Ya, ok just great! Get a life!

Re:Who's fault is it? (2, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420168)

As an atheist, I wholeheartedly support this idea. If all kids were forced to read the entire Bible before they turn 13, and pass the exam on textual knowledge - why, that would probably do more to reduce the influence of Christianity than efforts of all the various skeptic and secular humanist groups in the country. ~

Re:Who's fault is it? (5, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419016)

Seems to me that Google should startup a 'Google Kids' to handle things like this in compliance with COPPA. Once the child reaches 12, they can convert it over to a regular Gmail account.

Parents can administrate, while at the same time teaching their kids how to behave on the internet, teachers can email assignments, etc. As long as control rests solely with the parent, I see no issue with something like that.

Re:Who's fault is it? (5, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419110)

Actually - COPPA needs to die. Parents are supposed to be a child's first line of defense. Then the courts. Simply mandating that kids can't access and/or must be monitored by a provider such as Google is simply asinine. As a parent, and as a grandparent, I'd cheefully counsel my kids how to circumvent COPPA bullshit.

"See the box, where they ask how old you are? What's the minimum age? Alright, Honey, just add 3 or 6 to that minimum age, so your "birth year" is going to be 19xx, alright? Yeah, I know you're not 20 yet, but THEY don't know that!"

Re:Who's fault is it? (4, Interesting)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419386)

I think teaching how to circumvent COPPA is dangerous without teaching when to do so. There are a lot of age verification things out there on the internet and they're not all for the same reason. COPPA is for preventing a child from disclosing too much personal information for use by another party without informed consent of the parent (i.e. marketing and solicitation). I think teaching a child not to give out their real birth date online is a very valuable lesson. (Birth date and state are enough info for an accurate guess at a social security number [msn.com] , and the region can probably be obtained with a reasonable chance of success for a child (lower chance to have moved from the area of birth)). Other age verifiers are for content, some websites self regulate, others follow third party guidelines (e.g. ESRB). I expect to be the final word in what content my children permissibly access on the internet, but I do appreciate the age checkers as a sign for younger children to stop and ask permission. Older children are going to do their own thing according to what you've taught them up to that point.

Also, I've always been surprised that the age submission check is considered a valid method for absolving an entity of COPPA's requirements considering the lengths they have to go through if they do know they are dealing with a child. It seems rather trivial in comparison to these requirements: [wikipedia.org]

Website operators must use reasonable procedures to ensure they are dealing with the child's parent. These procedures may include:

obtaining a signed form from the parent via postal mail or facsimile;

accepting and verifying a credit card number;

taking calls from parents on a toll-free telephone number staffed by trained personnel;

email accompanied by digital signature;

email accompanied by a PIN or password obtained through one of the verification methods above.

Operators who follow one of these procedures acting in good faith to a request for parental access are protected from liability under federal and state law for inadvertent disclosures of a child's information to someone who purports to be a parent.

Re:Who's fault is it? (5, Interesting)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419496)

You have it backwards. Having ridiculous laws is much worse than not having laws at all. Ridiculous laws will be broken and this is what undermines the very respect for the law.
Also protecting the precious snowflakes at all costs has dire consequences when they meet the harsh bitch called life completely unprepared.

Re:Who's fault is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420632)

Also protecting the precious snowflakes at all costs has dire consequences when they meet the harsh bitch called life completely unprepared.

This.

Society is going to be in for a HUGE fucking shock in a few decades when all these kids grow up and "functioning" members of it.
Oh boy that will be a low point. If people think current times are bad when it comes to the younger generations, you'd count yourself lucky to be either a vegetable or not alive to see the shitstorm coming.
Personally I'm going to become an onion.

Re:Who's fault is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419722)

Give it a while and we'll have statistics about all these 130 year old people still using the 'Net

Re:Who's fault is it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419944)

Stupid US laws.....

Re:Who's fault is it? (1)

black6host (469985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419784)

Parents can administrate, while at the same time teaching their kids how to behave on the internet, teachers can email assignments, etc. As long as control rests solely with the parent, I see no issue with something like that.

And how would Google know if they are dealing with a parent or a child during initial setup without providing yet more information than I'm currently putting out there on the web. I'm a parent and grandparent as well and I have no accounts on social sites that I use. When asked to enter a birth date you can be assured it's not the real one....

It's not that I feel your thoughts are without merit, but rather how could it be accomplished without divulging yet more personal information? Or, in other words, more data to sell........

Re:Who's fault is it? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420662)

I doubt you could verify something like that.

But even if you could, it's a complete waste of time. "The children" don't need to be protected from every little thing.

Contract law is responsible (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420326)

To use Google services you have to agree to some type of terms. A contract with a minor is not enforceable in the U.S. Google has to have an adult involved somehow.

So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (5, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418888)

Like every 9 year old on MySpace ever did... just put in the wrong birthyear and everything stays cool.

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (2)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418892)

Or go over to yahoo, which is all kids anyway.

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (4, Informative)

NotQuiteInsane (981960) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418902)

Or go over to yahoo, which is all spammers anyway.

FTFY.

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418908)

Although, this could become a problem when they grow up and want to be themselfs om G+ (if they still want to keep their address, that is).

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418918)

Also, the use of the viral video is a little off, since the baby never actually does anything with the account (as the Google spokesman says) - the father signs up for the account and agrees to the terms, the father then composes messages and sends them, the father reads messages received etc etc. Its the father doing things in the babies name, which is a whole different ball game to the kid signing up and using it themselves.

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419140)

Even if you didn't let your kid use it, would you set up the account in your own name? If so, when the child is old enough to use it, it will be in the wrong name. If not, the account will be deleted, unless you lied about the age, in which case that will be wrong once the child is old enough to use it.

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419172)

I dunno, she probably sat there and pooped while he applied for the account, which is maybe her way of expressing her opinion towards the EULA.

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418968)

What? That's insane. You can't lie about your age on the internet!

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (3, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419042)

It's not lying when you type in your age in dog years. You..... speciesist!

Re:Dog years. (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420348)

Dog years are a made up thing. How long a planet takes to orbit the Sun, however, is how a year is defined. So just choose an appropriate planet. If the site operator is smart enough to specify Earth years don't sign up there. They are obviously hacker types who will steal all your personal info.

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (1)

formfeed (703859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420570)

What? That's insane. You can't lie about your age on the internet!

But if I don't lie the bad people will take away my /. account!!

Re:So COPPA is teaching our children to lie... (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420712)

COPPA does not teach anything. People who feel entitled to things to which they are not teach such lessons. Those people invariably teach their children and those they influence to feel likewise entitled. If you don't like the rules, get them changed instead of teaching children to lie to others and to you when it becomes convenient.

Might as Well Teach them Young To Lie... (5, Insightful)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418916)

Seems a good lesson that often in life one must tell lies of varying degrees. Fibbing about age is one of those.

Many websites and services (email, web hosting / blog sites, facebook, etc) have age stipulations ranging from 13 to 21, which effectively makes much of the web useless to young people unless they lie.

Re:Might as Well Teach them Young To Lie... (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418932)

That's not usually the site's fault, that's usually legislation like COPPA which makes it untenable.

Re:Might as Well Teach them Young To Lie... (2)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419020)

Absolutely agree. Not faulting the websites, services, etc for the age restrictions. Google is in a no-win situation due to the law.

Effectively creating a "don't ask, don't tell" situation, which seems to be very commonplace in life. Many activities are technically restricted, forbidden, etc ... but overlooked as long as both sides play along ...

An example is Facebook one user / one account policy - long as the user keeps their duplicate accounts / usernames on the down-low, and don't cause problems, Facebook, despite automated ways to catch many dups (Google+ is reportedly more aggressive), usually overlooks the extra accounts.

Re:Might as Well Teach them Young To Lie... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419170)

I signed up for a PayPal account when I was 14 by lying about my age so I could sell stuff on eBay... I still have my account today - 9 years later!

Re:Might as Well Teach them Young To Lie... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419198)

Just wait until they sue the kids for violating the law meant to protect them, under the exact same law.

And then have 'em tried as adults, just for good measure.

Don't forget to tell your 13-year old kids it's illegal to make n00d self-shots in the mirror with their iPhones. They will be in possession of extremely illegal content one minute after their 14th birthday, be tried as adults and registered as sex offenders for life.

Remember: all the things we used to do when we were young are now illegal. All.

Lieing vs. limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419256)

I think we need to teach our kids to set limits on what information to give out. I see all too often people giving out sensitive information just because someone asked for it. We all assume that information that is asked for is required or that a business will not do business with us if we don't provide it. That's if we're dealing with a person.

With the Internet, we are dealing with some script that cannot be reasoned with or questioned. Therefore, one has no choice but to lie in order to use the service. If I don't like it leave it? I've done that when a company insisted on the real data and proof to back it up. And what difference does it make if I make myself to be a decade older or younger?

Because we all know that this data is bought and sold and mined by other entities - like government looking for bogeymen. I don't care what the site says about never sharing data. There could be pressure from some government agency and they WILL cave, some lawyer for a lawsuit or they will be bought out by someone who has no respect for customer's privacy - most of corporate America.

We should teach our kids to give bogus information because business has absolutely no justifiable reason to collect it.

And don't get me started about the cult of marketing data in business - they think the more information they have, they can magically figure out how to sell more of their shit; which is all the more reason to lie.

My daughter was extremely upset as well. (4, Interesting)

stasike (1063564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418940)

One day my pre-teen-aged daughter wanted to set up an avatar for her Google mail account, like her best friend had. A nice pony or whatever. So we have opened the settings and one of things that Google wanted to know was the date of birth. After naively filling in the date (*not* the real number, but still way low age) ... poooof ... the account was gone. And mind you, this was account my daughter has created in an "IT" class. In my country we do not have educational accounts the article talks about.

In one second the account is there, the next ... gone.
Google wanted scan of my ID or something.
YOU ARE NOT GONNA GET IT GOOGLE!!! You Do. Not. Need. A. Copy. Of. My. Passport.

So we have created another account with a slightly different name, but my daughter has been upset for quite a long time. Still is, in fact. And I had to explain why Google are such ... bloody morons.

The same day I have made backup of my entire Google mail account. I do not trust them anymore that they won't pull the same stunt with MY personal account.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1, Funny)

heptapod (243146) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418964)

If only Google took such swift and decisive action on everyone who has a pony avatar.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (3, Funny)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419226)

Why do you want them to delete your gmail account?

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1)

owenjstock (1971322) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419240)

Haters gotta hate. [mylittlefacewhen.com] My current Google avatar [google.com] is Pinkie Pie.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418974)

Do you have any idea what kind of liability is created by the way "save the children" legislation applies to websites?

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419046)

Probably not. Unless he's living under totalitarian rule (China, Saudi Arabia, etc.), chances are he's used to more sensible legislation regarding the internet.

Email is for old people (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418998)

Kids these days don't use email anyway. They just text everything on their phones. Google is just protecting kids from being held back by parents who are trying to impose old-geezer ways of doing things on to them.

Re:Email is for old people (1)

soilheart (1081051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419116)

So what for the kids who want to email their Grandparents (the the girl in TFA?) =)

Re:Email is for old people (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419158)

True. However, many young people rely on social networking sites to meet up and coordinate activities, as well as, chat directly through them - the major ones, in particular, Facebook and Google+, have similar age restrictions to that of GMail.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419004)

You Do. Not. Need. A. Copy. Of. My. Passport.

Actually.. legally.. they do. If you want access to that account again, you can either verify that her parent has authorized the kid to be scaped and indexed and acknowledge that your kid can receive the accompanying advertising, or you can create another anonymous account to have similar advertising, scraping, analyzing done to her anyway. In one case, she gets her account back; in the other case, Google gets their data anyway.

As much as I'm for privacy, it's not like providing a copy of your passport is providing anything that Google doesn't have on you anyway. They don't even need _your_ google account to link it to, do they (not sure)? They just, legally, need to be sure that a parent/guardian has allowed Google to analyze their kid. US laws, if not your country's laws.

So perhaps you should explain to your daughter one of two things:
1. Your resentment of someone verifying that you are you, and you have control over your kid
2. US laws designed to protect the privacy of kids, and how they're hurting her. Perhaps you can go into how your own country's privacy laws work.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419022)

It is governments which write ridiculous laws which Google is forced to try to comply with that are the problem, not Google.

Why are these governments filled with morons? Because even bigger morons voted them into office or allowed them to come into/remain in power. That's not Google's fault. It is yours. You have the government you so rightfully deserve.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419166)

YM:

"You have the government that the highest donors for election campaigns so rightfully deserve."

HTH. HAND.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419024)

in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children%27s_Online_Privacy_Protection_Act, "While children under 13 can legally give out personal information with their parents' permission, many websites altogether disallow underage children from using their services due to the amount of paperwork involved."

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1)

mfraz74 (1151215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419422)

Why exactly does the USA think it has jurisdiction over someone living in another country?

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (3, Insightful)

acoster (812556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419622)

Well, they don't think they have jurisdiction over foreign individuals. But they do have jurisdiction over the company holding the data - and quite possibly over the physical server itself (if it is in an american data centre).

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (3, Informative)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419068)

Why do you blame Google? They are only following these stupid laws about children under 13. They didn't write the laws, blame the people who did.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (2)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419100)

I do not trust them anymore that they won't pull the same stunt with MY personal account.

Why would you trust that they wouldn't do that in the first place? It's a FREE account. You get what you pay for.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (4, Insightful)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419624)

Free does not mean 'immune from criticism'.

Why do you imply that it does?

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419102)

YOU ARE NOT GONNA GET IT GOOGLE!!! You Do. Not. Need. A. Copy. Of. My. Passport.

I like how Google repeatedly asks me to give them my phone number in case my account is "hacked," and gives me a FUD message about how I may never see my precious e-mails again if I don't. I also like how my gmail account is getting emails from Youtube in Spanish asking me to link and re-open a dormant account I used 4 years ago. I thought Google was advanced enough to detect samefagging and wealthy enough to buy all the info which could've already linked my phone number with my e-mail address.

C'mon, google, that's tacky. You're too rich and powerful to be begging and trashdigging like that.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419560)

I find it interesting that I have yet to put in my phone number, but when my friend (with an android phone) inputted my number into his contact list, it automatically filled in my email and account icon.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1)

greentshirt (1308037) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419160)

If this experience was so traumatic for your daughter, her life is probably far too sheltered and you spoil her. Only child?

Your tone is shrill and over the top. You make it sound like a Gaggle of Googlers attacked your daughter on the school yard and made fun of her for a year straight, thereby nearly driving her to suicide. Seriously, it's not that big a deal, create a new account, or create an account somewhere else. Maybe take the opportunity to explain to your daughter that sometimes we can't get everything we want.

As for your subsequent backup of your Gmail account... I'd love to hear the logical leap from "Google disabled an account which violates their TOS" to "OMG Google will delete my account". Sounds like your problems have less to do with Google, and more to do with you.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419182)

In one second the account is there, the next ... gone.
Google wanted scan of my ID or something.
YOU ARE NOT GONNA GET IT GOOGLE!!! You Do. Not. Need. A. Copy. Of. My. Passport.

Actually they do need a copy of your passport, required by federal law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children's_Online_Privacy_Protection_Act#Complying [wikipedia.org]

It's that or they can charge your credit card number to verify you are an adult speaking for your child, but of course you would complain about them doing that too.

These types of complaints are Exactly why Google simply refuses to allow accounts for children. It's people like you who force them into a no-win situation.

They are forced to follow the federal law of the country they are in, and in doing so people like you refuse to provide them one of the only two things that WOULD allow them to set up an account for your child under the law.

If you do not wish to follow the USA laws, then that is fine. But do not complain when a company here refuses to help you break those laws.

You were provided with the only means Google has to stay legal, and you refused. The fault lies completely on your head for that willful decision you made.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (0)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419442)

Why does your pre-teen daughter have an e-mail account to begin with?

Why would you *ever* trust Google with anything "personal?" Google makes its money by *selling* people.

Which sort of makes the whole Google-account-for-a-pre-teen-daughter-thing not just bad parenting, but creepy as well...

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420272)

Why does your pre-teen daughter have an e-mail account to begin with?

I don't see why not.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419446)

They're only doing all this because they're REQUIRED TO BY LAW. If you don't like it, blame the feds, not Google.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419714)

A similar thing happened to me. My finance was signing my daughter up for a game when she put in her actual age. This purged her account completely, which was really annoying. I drilled into everyone's heads that they should always lie about their age on the Internet, which goes against my general policy of honesty.

The moral of the story is that laws have unintended consequences.

No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420620)

the moral of the story is that discretion is the best general policy when dealing with the law. Utopia is fiction, not reality.

Re:My daughter was extremely upset as well. (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420542)

Google wanted scan of my ID or something.
YOU ARE NOT GONNA GET IT GOOGLE!!! You Do. Not. Need. A. Copy. Of. My. Passport.

The people they have actually checking those scans have basically no way of verifying their authenticity. Scan your passport and then photoshop it to be full of lies and send that to them. They will be happy and you will be happy.

Kids don't need email.. (0)

kaytea2k (599130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38418978)

Nuff said.

Re:Kids don't need email.. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419326)

[Subject: "Kids don't need email.."] Nuff said.

"Nuff said?" Er, you've said absolutely nothing beyond giving us some stupid pat assertion under the delusion it's not worth backing it up. Cool opinion, bro!

That said, I'm more curious to know why this is you decided to apparently come back and post this one comment just a day short of five years after your previous one on December 19 2006?! [slashdot.org]

Re:Kids don't need email.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419600)

That said, I'm more curious to know why this is you decided to apparently come back and post this one comment just a day short of five years after your previous one on December 19 2006?!

Today is his 18th birthday.

Coming from a google fanboy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38418992)

It's probably the easiest thing to do to maximize their expected value. Instead of spending billions fighting some class action lawsuit over privacy, they avoid the issua altogether when it's clear that the person is under 13 (when told by the user themselves)

thems the rules (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419000)

I've heard this whining about facebook accounts, too. "My poor kid got kicked off facebook, this is a travesty..."

Blah, whatever. You broke the provider's rule - "no kids allowed". The provider has the rule because the government passed laws about that stuff - "think of the children". The provider would get in trouble collecting all that private data on kids - it's no problem for adults - they "have nothing to hide".

Apathy gets you these nice unintended consequences. Enjoy!

Obviously a ploy to help the US Postal Service (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419098)

So the government passes a law, which prohibits children from using email service. So the children have to write letters the old fashioned way, and send them via the US Postal Service . . . which is owned by the government! No conflict of interest here!

On the good side, being that so many couples tend to have children, a lot of folks might be pissed off at this law. And then they might start putting more political pressure for scrutiny on laws that are being passed by the government to regulate the Internet.

And grandchildren will have an excuse for not writing to their grandparents:

"I wrote to you Grandpa, but you know how the US Post Service is, they tend to lose things . . . "

Don't Link Your GMail to Google+ Account (5, Informative)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419106)

In reply to some comments / sentiments in this thread regarding how quick Google is to delete accounts, be wary of creating a Google+ account / user profile.

There have been many reports of Google+ accounts being flagged for various reasons (username choosen, duplicate acct, complaints from others, etc) resulting in the linked services, such as, GMail being suspended / terminated too.

Imho, avoid creating a Google+ account - not so easy now that Google is rolling that out across services, so the next best option is not create a profile; leave it as empty as possible. And keep services separate ... don't use the same Google+ account for GMail as one does for other services (ie. YouTube).

Re:Don't Link Your GMail to Google+ Account (2, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419208)

That's why I deleted all my youtube accounts a few weeks back because Google insisted I link everything to anything about me and couldn't opt out anymore, hmm no thanks which really sucked as one of the channels was pretty big but so be it. So ATM im n a replace google search mission. I guess Dogpile and Duck Duck Go as suggested a few days ago will do for now.

I deleted my Facebook about 4 years ago since they wanted more now I see Google is the new minister of information which doesn't take much to be corrupted.

Re:Don't Link Your GMail to Google+ Account (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419258)

Do these same rules apply if you use them to run a domain Google Apps account? I would think that with an apps account, you take the responsibility on yourself. Admittedly, this will cost you about $10 per year for the domain, but you do get the benefit of not being tied to a specific email provider.

Re:Don't Link Your GMail to Google+ Account (1)

NicknameOne (2525178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419534)

Here is a link where a Google spokes person directly contradicts what you said: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/technologylive/post/2011/07/google-responds-to-google-account-suspension-controversy/1 [usatoday.com]

"When an account is suspended for violating the Google+ common name standards, access to Gmail or other products that don't require a Google+ profile are not removed," he said.

Can you source any of the "many reports" you said that indicate otherwise?

Re:Don't Link Your GMail to Google+ Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419602)

In reply to some comments / sentiments in this thread regarding how quick Google is to delete accounts, be wary of creating a Google+ account / user profile.

Amen to this. I tried to setup a business Google+ account based on this link [google.com] . Follow the link to "Create a Google Page". Create it using an existing (business or otherwise) account, and pray that you have a "real name" or a "birthday" for your business they find acceptable, *because they don't have anything that looks like a business signup page*. If you use a birthday that is unacceptable, they will LOCK your account, and charge you to unlock it (or you can send in your ID to them).

Go ahead -- try it. You get NO WARNING that the birthday is unacceptable, and no chance to avoid the LOCK. I dare you to do it.

Son's Account Was Reinstated With My Supervision (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38419150)

Hi All,

I too was put off by Google's disabling of my son's account, but I decided to give Google a chance and see if they would be reasonable. I sent a note to them in the only way I could come up with, by writing it (by hand on a paper), scanning together, my ID, and my note which was an explanation that my son was really under age, and that as his parent, I was the "holder" of his account, but he was using it under my supervision. I sent the note to their photo ID link, and his account was reinstated. I assume that they actually read the note, and allowed this, but it is possible they have an automated process that accepts any photo you send as ID, and automatically reinstates the account. If they do, shame on them. If they don't, I applaud them for being reasonable.

Rob

You get what you pay for (2, Insightful)

100_Monkeys_Typing (662396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419204)

It seems like a lot of people are unhappy with Google's FREE service. If you don't like how Google is running THEIR business, start your own or find one that is age appropriate for kids. I fail to understand why people get mad when they can't get exactly what they want from a company that is offering their services for no additional charge to the user. If the users were paying something, ie AOL, then i would understand.

Re:You get what you pay for (4, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419284)

"Free" doesn't mean "exempt from criticism." That said, they're also free to not listen to you.

And I think this is really the fault of idiotic "think of the children" laws.

Re:You get what you pay for (2)

Maestro4k (707634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420664)

And I think this is really the fault of idiotic "think of the children" laws.

It is, COPPA's requirements are beyond onerous, COPPA is entirely responsible for the whole 13+ or go away divide on the Internet. If someone's 13+ then you don't have to do anything special. Under 13 you need special parental permission with proof of the parent's age (that's the whole reason they have to have a scan of an ID to reinstate the account, along with the parent's statement that they're the actual account holder allowing their child to use it under their supervision) to collect any data on the child. The penalties for not complying are pretty steep too.

In short, this isn't a Google problem, this is a COPPA problem. COPPA is a bad law, it's just starting to actual impact more and more kids nowadays because of social networking. People need to stop bitching about Google and go bitch at Congress to change the law. Going elsewhere won't help, the law's the same for any US company, they're going to disable (or delete) your kid's account if they discover they're under 13 too.

Re:You get what you pay for (1)

rastos1 (601318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419800)

Every e-mail I send from my gmail account shows up in the recipient's inbox as From: ....@gmail.com. Am I doing free advertising for them or what?

Re:You get what you pay for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420672)

actually you can change it to something else, your email address does not need to end in @gmail

Chromebooks? (2)

Chrontius (654879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419306)

So, for al the reason Google suggests Chromebooks, how do I let my (hypothetical) kid use a Chromebook without giving them access to my email?

Google Apps for Education sounds great, but I've yet to run into a school using it.

Re:Chromebooks? (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419552)

Home schools are not eligible either according to this page [google.com] .

Google Apps are not worth the free tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420638)

Just download OpenOffice and actually get some work done.

Google apps are only good for BASIC TEXT. Beyond that, the service is below garbage.

Pure Bullshit (1)

echusarcana (832151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419710)

COPPA is an American bullshit law and they've been applying it in Canada. What happens to my kid's Android phone if his Google account is deactivated? Unfortunately due to our crappy school system, I count on that thing for him to get home from school.

Get rid of that stupidity (4, Interesting)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419884)

When I was ten (1997), I had an account on virtually all website/email services that were big (relatively) at the time. There was never question of deleting my account because I was a kid.

Stripping kids of the right to use that kind of service is the same as stripping kids from having the right to use the Internet. This is preposterous and stupid.
American people, get rid of that law.

What about the 96% (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38419954)

This law is part of your broken legal system, not anyone else's. Why should it be foisted upon the rest of the planet?*

Several years ago, my son got his first android phone, the G1. He asked my permission to lie about his age to set up an account. I was already aware that Google tries to do this and said OK. He is now old enough to be "legal" and has come to no harm. This was in spite of various crazies advising me to put Net Nanny or some other corporate nonsense on my PC and then not allowing him to use it unless I was with him. I decided to educate him about the internet, as I already had with his older sister.

It was my responsibility and not too hard. This nonsense has been one of my few black marks for Google.

*And then they start up Google music but limit it to the 4% of humanity actually subject to the US legal system.
Come on guys, either be global with your services or global by not applying insane US laws on the rest of us.

"HAL was ordered to lie ..." (1)

qeorqe (853039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420020)

Apparently Google is doing this is to comply with COPPA. Is the US congress teaching children to lie and defraud web sites like Google? I am reminded of a quote from the movie "2010: The Year We Make Contact".

  "HAL was ordered to lie ... by people who find it very easy to lie."

It's all because of Google+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420146)

This happened to my 10 year-old daughter. I created a Gmail account for her. They never asked for a birthday or age when we created the account several years ago. My daughter used the account to email her grandparents and friends at school.

She and her friends used the Buzz feature that Gmail provides to share funny videos and jokes with her other friends on Gmail. Recently Google killed Buzz and replaced it with Google+. My daughter thought that by going in to Google+ she could get the features of Buzz back again. Once she went in to Google+ and entered her birthday, Google disabled all of her accounts.

This has nothing to do with COPPA. Other email providers like Yahoo allow children under 13 years of age to have accounts. The issue is that Google is now gathering information for Google+ profiles that DOES now violate COPPA and they have no way to block that collection of data for those that want a simple email account. An ISP providing a private email account would not violate COPPA by providing email accounts to kids under the age of 13.

Home schooling (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38420598)

Google doesn’t allow users who are under the age of 13 to have Google Accounts, unless they are using Google Apps for Education accounts through their school.

And hoes does Google handle this for home schooled children?

you know what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38420606)

fuck COPPA.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>