Google, trusty search engine and email provider for many actually has a clause within its fine print which states that those under 18 are not permitted to use the site, or any of its features. The Google conglomerate covers Google’s search, Gmail, YouTube, news and images.
The Terms of Service state that:
“You may not use … Google’s products, software, services and web sites … and may not accept the Terms if … you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google.”
Of course to those within the USA, the legal age to form a binding contract is 18, meaning anyone under the age of 18 is currently violating Google’s terms, which judging from a huge number of YouTube videos, that number is going to be high.
It is funny how Google’s simple interface looks very child friendly, not to mention their recent ‘Doodle 4 Google’ contest where school children could draw a logo for the homepage. Certainly sends a mixed message. While the message is unclear, I find it hard to believe that Google would actively enforce this policy, but instead use it as a good way to protect themselves should something happen with a juvenile. In a way its kind of funny, at least one Gadgetell member has a young daughter, who searches Google daily, and even has a personal Gmail account.