Google and Minors… what the ToS says…

Right now I’m trying to get my son’s gmail account re-enabled, with no such luck. Google’s attempt at COPPA compliance/mitigation is not impacted by parental agreement. But in attempts to figure out what’s going on, turns out you cannot use Google if your under 18. This is according to the Terms of Service that Google has.

You can read my ramblings about what happened here, but when someone told me I didn’t read the ToS, they really didn’t read it either. Not only does it say nothing about the age 13 being a magic number, but rather this line got to me:

2.3 You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if (a) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google

In the US, that’s the Age of Majority or usually, 18. So, according to the ToS from Google, if you are under 18, you cannot use google search, YouTube, Android, etc…

For the record, my son has my consent to use the non-COPPA compliant gmail service. It blocks a lot of spam I don’t want him to get. At the least, I want him to get copies of the email is sent/received off of gmail servers.

I can’t say how angry this gets me. No notice, just ‘account disabled’.

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