By Edward Cardenas

SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – Young children may soon be able to follow in the digital footsteps of their parents by having Google accounts.

According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, Google is planning to offer Gmail and YouTube accounts to children under 13-years-old.

Currently these services are not available to pre-teens, but Google is looking to create a new system that would allow parents to set up accounts for their children, according to the report. Parents would then be able to set what services their children use and what information is being collected.

Allowing greater access for pre-teens is a touchy a legal issue the report stated. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, sets certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on information collected from those sites, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Currently there is no barrier to parents setting up a Google account, and according to the report, the company is trying to make the process easier and compliant with federal rules.

Jeff Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, expressed his concern in the article and stated that the privacy of children could be at risk if the effort is done incorrectly.


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