It is well known that many Facebook users are, in fact, under the age of consent to register. However, the company, to my knowledge, has not actively rooted out any children, who in theory should not be using the social network site.
Google though are taking a different stance. In fact it appears to be going one stage further, which personally I am rather concerned about. It seems anyone under 13 who tries to register for Google+ is not only refused, but can also be frozen out of their Gmail account.
While I understand Google’s need to protect children, it does seem a little draconian to shut down email facilities. What is more, doing the latter is rather contradictory since the company is actively promoting the use of Gmail and other Google Apps in schools.
This all came to light when one Gmail user contacted a local newspaper. The father told reporters that he has always encouraged his son who is ten years old to keep in touch with his friends and relatives via email. However, it seems Google has a policy that says children under 13 cannot have a Google account.
When the son was frozen out of his Gmail account he was told he had to prove he was 13.
Strangely, when signing up for a Gmail account Google do ask for a birth date, but this policy is relatively new, so many who signed up before the policy was introduced are now getting caught out when they also try to sign up for Google+.
When asked, Google gave a rather confusing answer, which doesn’t solve the problem.