Google announced that it is blocking ads from targeting children based on age, gender, or interests in a new attempt to protect the privacy of users under the age of 18, and the new restrictions also turn off the location history feature for users under the age of 18 Globally, it includes new default settings in YouTube to protect minors from videos.
The new protection policy allows children, parents, or guardians to request that their photos be removed from Google Image results as well, a feature that is due to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
Google's move comes as major internet platforms have long come under scrutiny by lawmakers and regulators over the impact of their sites on the safety, privacy, and well-being of younger users.
Instagram recently launched a similar policy against targeting users under the age of 18, and Apple uses its technology to combat child abuse by scanning iPhone users' photos for such material.
Google's new policy includes some of its most popular products among children and teens, specifically YouTube. In a few weeks, the video platform will change the default upload setting to its more private option for 13-17-year-olds, where content is only viewed by the user and people who choose them, however, and users have the final say in making their content viewable by the public.
The platforms' online approach to younger users has been in the spotlight in recent months as US lawmakers and attorneys general recently criticized Facebook's plans to create a child-focused version of Instagram.